US Intelligence Agencies Can't Find Hard Evidence of an Iran Nuclear Weapons Program - Tim Bellamy (02/27/12)

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In 2007, a US Intelligence report concluded that as long ago as 2003, Iran had decided not to pursue the possibility of creating a nuclear war head. However, Iran did not intend to restrict its capabilities to enable it to enrich plutonium to a level which could then be used as fuel, within its declared nuclear power program.
James R. Clapper Jr., the USA Director Intelligence stated on 31 January, whilst giving testimony to the US Senate, his belief that Iran was in effect keeping its options open in respect of developing a Nuclear Weapon, but on his present assessment of the situation, Iran had yet to make a definitive decision as to whether to proceed or not. This view has also been supported in similar statements made by the Defence Secretary Leon E. Panetta and David H. Petraeus, Director of the C.I.A..

There are those Middle East countries such as Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and in particular Israel, who are sceptical of these assessments. There is no doubt that Iran has continued to move forward with its general enrichment activities, all the time stating that its sole purpose of enrichment, is for “nuclear power purposes” only.

Ever since the 1980’s, Iran has played a game of “cat and mouse” with Western Powers by:

• Hiding nuclear installations from “public” view

• Failing to clarify its actual intentions through veiled threats and ambiguous statements

• Continual and provocative non-compliance with the International Atomic Energy Agency

• Verbal threats and sabre rattling, in order to cause discomfort and unease to Western powers, particularly the USA

Ever since the invasion of Iraq, following a complete misinterpretation of so-called intelligence on Iraq’s biological weapons of mass destruction, intelligent analysts have now more access to the sources of such intelligence. They are also required to give more stringent and logical reasoning as to how they reach their conclusions. This in turn has resulted in a more cautious approach in determining the credibility and accuracy of these sources. American analysts find it very difficult to understand how the leaders of countries such as Iran and North Korea, actually arrive at their decisions, mainly due to the limited intelligence they are able to glean from the regimes controlling these closed societies.

There is a school of thought actively encouraged by Iran, which says that, whilst it may come close to the brink and within the next couple of years may well have the technical capability and know-how to create a nuclear bomb, Iran does not yet have either the intention nor will to physically create, let alone stockpile, actual nuclear warheads. It is well aware that in the event of it achieving this capability, it risks not only the possibility of pre-emptive nuclear attacks from Israel, but also the demand from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States for America to provide them with a similar armory.

There is no doubt that Iran has, in the past, made strenuous efforts to hide its nuclear facilities from the Western powers. Yet in today’s world, Iran boasts of its current nuclear programs, whilst maintaining its intentions are purely of a peaceful nature and for energy purposes only. The leaders of Iran, from the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei down, are experts in the art of subterfuge and deception and will continue to keep the rest of the world guessing as to Iran’s actual intents.

Iran is unlikely to make the first move in a full-front confrontation with the West, but past experience has shown it is both willing and quite capable to react in both a hostile and volatile manner, should its national interests be threatened in any way.

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