Thursday 26 Nov 2020 | 00:09 | SYDNEY
Thursday 26 Nov 2020 | 00:09 | SYDNEY

US intelligence readies its Iran assessment


Sam Roggeveen


16 November 2007 17:04

Get ready for another bout of speculation on whether the US is going to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities.

Via Arms Control Wonk, I see the Washington Post is reporting that the US intelligence community is putting the final touches to a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran's nuclear program. An NIE is the consolidated assessment of all US intelligence agencies on a particular issue. In a reversal of previous policy, the US will not release an unclassified version of the report, though the Arms Control Wonk himself, Jeffrey Lewis, reckons it will leak. He's usually right about these things.

The key thing to look for will be the latest estimate of how long it will take Iran to produce enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon. This is unlikely to occur until at least 2009 and probably later, which arguably still gives us time to negotiate. But if US intelligence analysts bring that date forward, the war drums could start to beat a little louder.