Article questions 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on Iran

The International Herald Tribune has published an article by investigative journalist Dr. Edward J. Epstein (author of the 1989 book Deception: The Invisible War Between the KGB and the CIA) questioning the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate’s (NIE) view on Iran’s nuclear program. The NIE is an annual report produced cooperatively by all 16 agencies of the US intelligence community. The 2007 NIE caused controversy by marking a spectacular break from long-term US policy of warning that Iran is actively pursuing a nuclear program. It specifically asserted “with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program”. ¬†Epstein now argues that the CIA got it wrong and that Iran did not terminate, but simply restructured, Project 1-11 -its clandestine nuclear armament research operation. He details developments in the past year and urges US President-Elect Barack Obama to “confront the reality that Iran now has the capability to change the balance of power in the Gulf, if it so elects to do, by building a nuclear weapon”. [IA]