A new report by an American intelligence estimate(NIE) that Tehran had ceased its nuclear military program in 2003 was greeted by cries of outrage from Israel and those advocating warlike actions against the government of Iran. The US NIE, a consensus of 16 intelligence agencies, concluded that Iran had suspended its attempt to build a nuclear weapon in 2003. Last month President Bush warned that a nuclear armed Iran posed a threat to world peace and Vice President Dick Cheney threatened Iran with “serious consequences” if it did not cease to abandon its nuclear weapon development.
Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak, rejected the American report and insisted his nation must continue its efforts to end Iran’s nuclear weapons development. “We cannot allow ourselves,” he said, “to rest, just because of an intelligence report from the other side of the earth even if it is from our greatest friend.” However, the Iranian government greeted the report noting, “It’s natural that we welcome it when those countries who in the past have questioned” our information, “now amend their views realistically… The condition of Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities is becoming clear to the world.”
Republican Senator Chuck Hagel commented that the report removes, “if nothing else the urgency that we have to attack Iran, or knock out facilities..I don’t think you can overstate the importance of this.” This web site has continually urged patience in dealing with issues of the supposed Iran nuclear weapon program and we support Senator Hagel’s evaluation. It is now a time to resume efforts to negotiate with Iran over nuclear development and to cease making threats. One can only wonder if Israel’s Defense Minister would have accepted the report if it claimed Iran was pursuing nuclear weapon development.