US: Iran halted weapons program in 2003

WASHINGTON - A new U.S. intelligence report concludes that

Iran's nuclear weapons
development program has been halted since the fall of 2003 because of
international pressure — a stark contrast to the conclusions U.S. spy
agencies drew just two years ago.

The finding is part of a National Intelligence Estimate on Iran that also cautions that Tehran continues to enrich uranium and still could develop a bomb between 2010 and 2015 if it decided to do so.

The conclusion that Iran's weapons program was still frozen, through
at least mid-2007, represents a sharp turnaround from the previous
intelligence assessment in 2005. Then, U.S. intelligence agencies
believed Tehran was determined to develop a nuclear weapons capability
and was continuing its weapons development program. The new report
concludes that Iran's decisions are rational and pragmatic, and that
Tehran is more susceptible to diplomatic and financial pressure than
previously thought.

"Tehran's decision to halt its nuclear weapons program
suggests it is less determined to develop nuclear weapons than we have
been judging since 2005," says the unclassified summary of the secret


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Hopefully, members of Congress will actually read this NIE (unlike Iraq)

Once again, Bush & Co. have been exposed as shameless liars and warmongers. It wasn't too long ago that GW was talking about Iran and WW3. I doubt any rational American believes anything that comes out of this administration's mouth any more.

[edited later]
But still the administration tries to spin the bad news
"Still, an unruffled Hadley told the incredulous reporters that the new dossier in fact supported his boss' posture toward Iran. "Today's National Intelligence Estimate offers some positive news," he says. "It confirms that we were right to be worried about Iran seeking to develop nuclear weapons. It tells us that we have made progress in trying to ensure that this does not happen."

"The trouble for Hadley is that no one else in the world would interpret the 100-page intelligence estimate in quite the same way. The conclusions of the top US analysts who wrote the report -- distilling information gathered by all 16 of America's intelligence agencies -- ring louder than any White House spin.",1518,521341,00.html

The best part is, Bush/Cheney have known about what is being reported in this NIE for months and STILL tried to make Iran out to be a huge threat. I'm sure MSM will totally ignore the fact that they have been lying for so long and focus on the fact that this NIE justifies the US invasion of Iraq.

Bush is delusional and very dangerous.
"WASHINGTON (AP) -- Defending his credibility, President Bush said Tuesday that Iran is dangerous and must be squeezed by international pressure despite a blockbuster intelligence finding that Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program four years ago.

Bush said the new conclusion - contradicting earlier U.S. assessments - would not prompt him to take off the table the possibility of pre-emptive military action against Iran. Nor will the United States change its policy of trying to isolate Iran diplomatically and punish it with sanctions, he said.

"Look, Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous and Iran will be dangerous if they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon," the president told a White House news conference a day after the release of a new national intelligence estimate representing the consensus of all U.S. spy agencies."

I can't help but wonder if the administration tried to repeat the misinformation and manipulation campaign on the Iran situation as it did on Iraq only certain people decided that this time they weren't going to let it happen and released the accurate information.

This is an interesting article explaining how Bush basically dismisses the new NIE. Here are some of the highlights:

And Iran will be dangerous if they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon," Bush told his first White House press conference

So are we going to bomb the knowledge out of them? Why not just make them implement their own No Child Left Behind act? They're sure to have less knowledge then.

Asked if he had been "hyping" the threat from Iran, Bush said he was only made aware of the NIE last week and insisted it had changed nothing. "I still feel strongly that Iran is a danger."

First, Bush is lying--his administration was informed in July of this intelligence. And there he goes again with his "feelings". He "feels" Iran is a threat, despite the report. Just like his "gut" told him Saddam had WMD.

But this is all we need to know:

The report was, however, contradicted by Israel. Its defence minister, Ehud Barak, claimed that Iran had restarted its military nuclear programme.

"It's apparently true that in 2003 Iran stopped pursuing its military nuclear programme for a time. But in our opinion, since then it has apparently continued that programme," he told army radio.

In the long run this NIE report won't matter, because Israel has a "differing opinion". All it will take is a US-blessed Israeli attack on Iran, Iran retaliates, and of course we must protect Israel.


The saving grace in all this, Chris, is that Bush has probably lost so much credibility that nobody in government would follow his orders to bomb Iran. "Skeptics of war have rarely been so legitimized. Vice President Cheney has never been so isolated. If Bush were to order an attack under these circumstances, he would risk a major eruption in the chain of command, even a constitutional crisis, among many other crises. It seems extremely unlikely that even he would do that."

But, as you point out, the wild card is Israel. That could be the catalyst that sets off the powder keg.

We have either a president who is too dishonest to restrain himself from invoking World War Three about Iran at least six weeks after he had to have known that the analogy would be fantastic, irresponsible hyperbole — or we have a president too transcendently stupid not to have asked — at what now appears to have been a series of opportunities to do so — whether the fairy tales he either created or was fed, were still even remotely plausible.

A pathological presidential liar, or an idiot-in-chief. It is the nightmare scenario of political science fiction: A critical juncture in our history and, contained in either answer, a president manifestly unfit to serve, and behind him in the vice presidency: an unapologetic war-monger who has long been seeing a world visible only to himself.

Iran has been a threat to word peace since the revolution.

The danger with Iran now is not their nuclear program, it's Ahmadinejad and his constant talk of the complete destruction of a nation (Israel).

But that's all ok yes ? And should go unpunished ?

Ahmadinejad has little real power in Iran. The real power is in the hands of the Shiite Clerics. Ahmadinejad is just a conservative nut job, who is considered a joke among the populace. Hmmm....

This "talk of the complete destruction of Israel" has been repeated so many times that it has taken on a life of its own. Check out the following analysis by a Farsi speaker. Ahmadinejad would seem to be calling for regime change, not war.


So what did Ahmadinejad actually say? To quote his exact words in farsi:

"Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad."

That passage will mean nothing to most people, but one word might ring a bell: rezhim-e. It is the word "Regime", pronounced just like the English word with an extra "eh" sound at the end. Ahmadinejad did not refer to Israel the country or Israel the land mass, but the Israeli regime. This is a vastly significant distinction, as one cannot wipe a regime off the map. Ahmadinejad does not even refer to Israel by name, he instead uses the specific phrase "rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods" (regime occupying Jerusalem).

So this raises the question.. what exactly did he want "wiped from the map"? The answer is: nothing. That's because the word "map" was never used. The Persian word for map, "nagsheh", is not contained anywhere in his original farsi quote, or, for that matter, anywhere in his entire speech. Nor was the western phrase "wipe out" ever said. Yet we are led to believe that Iran's President threatened to "wipe Israel off the map", despite never having uttered the words "map", "wipe out" or even "Israel".


The full quote translated directly to English:

"The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time".

Word by word translation:

Imam (Khomeini) ghoft (said) een (this) rezhim-e (regime) ishghalgar-e (occupying) qods (Jerusalem) bayad (must) az safheh-ye ruzgar (from page of time) mahv shavad (vanish from).

All Bush and Chenney talk about this the destruction of Iran...

But that's all ok yes ? And should go unpunished ?

True Pete. Besides, if Ahmadinejad just wanted to kill jews why wouldn't he start with the 20,000 or so in his own country?

...,in July, one of the top officials (Fingar??) who's responsible for preparing the NEI testified to Congress that Iran was a danger, was continuing to try to enrich uranium and had continually ignored the UN resolutions. This was sworn testimony, under oath...

So the guy who's now saying Iran stopped their nuke program years ago was saying just the opposite in July. Why aren't we crucifying him - and the others who prepare the NEI???

You can enrich uranium with out having an active nuke (nuclear weapon) program.

Iran freely admits it is enriching uranium of peaceful energy purposes. Enriched uranium can be used to fuel nuclear energy reactors. Think about it, I could hand you a 100 pounds of enriched uranium tomorrow, but you wouldn’t know how to build a bomb. You could however hire any number of international companies to build you a nuclear reactor to create energy, providing you have the fuel.

I’m not saying they have peaceful intent. That isn’t the point of this thread. Bush has been stating repeatedly for weeks/months that Iran has an active nuclear weapon program when he new in fact that it didn’t.

Once again, conservatives (not just you Maggie) want to kill the messenger because the message doesn’t fit with their Iranian narrative.

In the end it seems we are only delaying the inevitable. We are trying to keep countries (not just Iran) from developing something that we developed over 60 years ago- think about that. And we didn’t even know it would work for sure when we developed it.

...for this.

I guess I need to see if I can find the actual testimony. My recollection of what I read is that the testimony before Congress in July was consistent with everything Bush has been saying...and that the guy giving the testimony was the same guy responsible for the, now, contradictory information.

Which, if I remember the testimony correctly, leads me to wonder why Bush is the bad guy if he was relying all along on the information in the NIE - that had been (until now) consistent with his statements?

You can see why I'm confused. NEI says Iran pursuing nukes...all of sudden, Iran not pursuing nukes. Source of information is the same staffers but now Bush was lying and has been lying all along??

Again, if I remember correctly, why aren't we all questioning the reason for the sudden switch in what the NIE says and demanding explanation for why they've been wrong for so long? Problems with intelligence data and gathering were part of what the 9-11 commission pointed out. Is this another instance that should be examined?

Here's a blog post very similar to what I recalled:

December 5, 2007
When Did Fingar Change His Mind?

One of the main authors of the recently-released NIE on Iran sang a different tune to Congress less than five months earlier. Thomas Joscelyn at the Weekly Standard notes that Thomas Fingar testified to the completely opposite conclusion on July 11th, 2007 -- that Iran continued to pursue nuclear weapons. This tends to substantiate that the change in posture came very recently:

Iran and North Korea are the states of most concern to us. The United States’ concerns about Iran are shared by many nations, including many of Iran’s neighbors. Iran is continuing to pursue uranium enrichment and has shown more interest in protracting negotiations and working to delay and diminish the impact of UNSC sanctions than in reaching an acceptable diplomatic solution. We assess that Tehran is determined to develop nuclear weapons--despite its international obligations and international pressure. This is a grave concern to the other countries in the region whose security would be threatened should Iran acquire nuclear weapons.

Fingar gave this testimony to the House Armed Services Committee. As the Deputy Director of Analysis for the CIA, this could certainly be called the definitive standing for the intelligence community at the time. Fingar's assessment would have formed the basis for White House policy. Yet just weeks later, Fingar would reach a conclusion completely opposite of the bolded portion above and reverse the high-confidence findings of the last several NIEs on Iran.

Confronted with this abrupt U-turn, the Bush administration must have wondered what happened at the CIA to get this so wrong. One can hardly blame them for insisting on a high-level review of the data and the conclusions to ensure that it really represented reality. The conclusions of the red team notwithstanding, the sudden turnabout in analysis over a period of years makes it hard to put trust into the current position.

This is from Captain Quarters Blog - but it provides the links to the testimony...

It looks as though there was new intel in August, after Fingar had testified. Dana Perino said this:

"In August, DNI Director McConnell advised President Bush that the intelligence community would not be able to meet a congressionally imposed deadline requiring a National Intelligence Estimate on Iran because new information had been obtained just as they were about to finalize the report."

...this new information/report is what 'changed' the conclusion on Iran's nukes?

If this is true, then no one has been 'lying for years' about Iran and nukes, correct?

If this is true, then no one has been 'lying for years' about Iran and nukes, correct?

I'm not quite sure where your quote 'lying for years' came from. Maybe I missed it. Several of us have said Bush has known for several months, and he has lied since he just said he only found out last week. comments I'd heard elsewhere and in the media...sorry for any confusion...

And the reason for the revolution was the regime of the Shah and the way that the regime beat down the people, all while the U.S. supported the Shah while his regime repressed the people of Iran.

Lying is such an emotional term.
How about the people in charge have wanted to invade Iran and now one of the biggest reasons to do so, has been shown to be not reliable.
And the President has said he still feels the same way, that Iran is a threat.

"He continued that Fingar and one of his co-authors, Vann Van Diepen, national intelligence officer for weapons of mass destruction, had opposed the war in Iraq. "They both felt the intelligence was misused in the run-up to the Iraq war. The conservatives are now attacking them, saying they are taking their revenge," Leverett said. "It is not mutiny for intelligence officers to state their honest views."
Fingar, Van Diepen and Kenneth Brill, a former US ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), were able to put out what they regard as an objective assessment because those occupying senior roles in the Bush administration had changed. Paul Wolfowitz, John Bolton, Douglas Feith and Donald Rumsfeld have given way to those who oppose war with Iran, including Robert Gates, the defence secretary and former CIA director, and the secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice.
Only the vice-president, Dick Cheney, remains to advocate military strikes against Iran. Wolfowitz, out of work since resigning from the World Bank earlier this year, has been invited back into the administration by Rice as an adviser on WMD, but that is an act of pity for an old mentor, not a shift in power to the neocons.
Joseph Cirincione, author of Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons, also welcomed the report, saying: "What is happening is that foreign policy has swung back to the grown-ups. We are watching the collapse of the Bush doctrine in real time. The neoconservatives are howling because they know their influence is waning.",,2224281,00.html

"Mr Gates told a Bahrain conference Iran may have restarted its nuclear weapons programme, despite a US intelligence report saying it had stopped."
"Mr Gates acknowledged that last week's US National Intelligence Estimate, which concluded Iran had halted its nuclear weapons programme four years ago, had caused problems for President Bush and confused America's allies.
The report had come at an awkward time, he said, but both the timing and the content were determined by the US director of national intelligence, not the government. "

John Bolton, former ambassador to the UN, said earlier this year, "Regime change or the use of force are the only available options to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapons capability, if they want it."

Today, Bolton is quoted as saying, "the NIE, released on Monday, [is] a "quasi-putsch" by the agencies. This is politics disguised as intelligence."

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! Bolton has been one of the most hidebound and intransigent supporters of wars of aggression. His entire career has been based on politics disguised as intelligence.

By the way, although Bolton supported the Vietnam War, he enlisted in the Maryland Army National Guard and did not serve in Vietnam. "I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy. I considered the war in Vietnam already lost."

None of these guys who are so eager to put other people's lives on the line ever served ONE DAY in combat. Anybody see a pattern here?

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