According to CBS News, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has leaked information to the press about a new, and allegedly more damning, assessment from the US intelligence community about Iran’s nuclear program. Ever since the US National Intelligence Estimate concluded that Iran halted any semblance of a weapons program back in 2003, Israel has been grudgingly working their hawkish rhetoric around that inconvenient conclusion. Now they’ve apparently pounced at the opportunity to amplify press coverage of another assessment, which according to CBS doesn’t conclude Iran has a nuclear weapons program, but says “Iran has made surprising, significant progress toward military nuclear capability,” as stated by Barak.
Earlier in the week I debunked a new report from Haaretz making these same claims, but naming no names. See here for why the new rumors lack any credibility.
The Obama administration has so far refused to speak about this latest news. Trita Parsi, who has demonstrated high-level contacts in the US government, tweeted that behind the scenes Washington is “livid” about Barak’s leaking. No other information has yet been forthcoming.
In the meantime, here’s Nima Shirazi’s pithy take:
From The New York Times on September 8, 2002:
From Ha’aretz on August 9, 2012: