A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
December 3, 2007 NIE On Iran States Iran Has Stopped Developing Nuclear Weapons
A new National Intelligence Estimate on Iranian nuclear activities was released today. In a complete surprise, the estimate claims that Iran stopped its efforts to produce Nuclear weapons in 2003 and has not resumed that effort. The estimate claims to have a very high degree of confidence in the accuracy of its assessment. The estimate goes on to say that the reason Iran stopped this work was increased sanctions and the threat of further sanctions. It states there is no assurance Iran could not resume nuclear development, but the earliest that it could produce weapons would be 2013.
If this assessment is true, this is indeed good news. Of course, this is the same set of agencies that said there was a very high degree of certitude that Saddam was developing “weapons of mass destruction”. Whether the estimate is right or wrong, any small chance the US was going to take direct action against Iran has now disappeared. Clearly, with a national intelligence estimate that says weapons are not being developed in Iran, the US is not going to take any military action.
A war of Attrition continues between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza. They continue to fire Qassams and mortars at Israel. Israel has been responding ever more vigorously, attacking any site that attempts to fire weapons. In the past week Israel has killed 21 Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters. It is hoped that the increased level of attacks will keep Hamas off balance. At the minimum, Israel is exacting an increased cost from the Hamas for their attacks. Hopefully this will put off a major attack on Gaza.