• 7 August 2009
  • Posted By David Elliott
  • Diplomacy, Nuclear file

U.S. Gov’t: Iran Years From Fuel For Bomb

The Washington Post reveals another U.S. intelligence analysis of Iran’s nuclear program that demonstrates why the push for imminent deadlines on talks with Iran are unnecessary and counterproductive:

Despite Iran’s progress since 2007 toward producing enriched uranium, the State Department’s intelligence analysts continue to think that Tehran will not be able to produce weapons-grade material before 2013, according to a newly disclosed congressional document.

The updated assessment, by the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, emphasizes that the analysis is based on Iran’s technical capability and is not a judgment about “when Iran might make any political decision” to produce highly enriched uranium.

The intelligence community agrees that a political decision has not yet been made. According to the assessment, State Department analysts think such a decision is unlikely to be made “for at least as long as international scrutiny and pressure persist.”

The views on Iran’s nuclear program are contained among answers in a document supplied by Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence after a hearing in February. Steven Aftergood, a senior research analyst at the Federation of American Scientists, obtained the document through a Freedom of Information Act request and published it Thursday on his Web site.

Going forward, NIAC has encouraged the U.S. government to consider a tactical pause before engaging in high-level diplomacy with Iran.  The United States must be sensitive not to negatively influence the situation in Iran and should wait until Iran’s political situation becomes clearer before engaging Iran bilaterally.  With the political paralysis in Tehran, Iran’s government currently is not in a position to deliver on negotiations.  Failed talks would be the worst outcome, limiting America’s options to sanctions or war.

Posted By David Elliott

David Elliott is the Assistant Policy Director at the National Iranian American Council.

    2 Responses to “U.S. Gov’t: Iran Years From Fuel For Bomb”

  1. Arsalan says:

    There is a serious problem with Niac’s ‘pause’ proposal. Israel is not taken into account in the calculation. If the US takes a pause until the political situation is clearer in Iran, will Israel also go along with the pause? I doubt it! I believe Israel will attack Iran (i.e. the nuclear sites) within the next two years, if no real progress is made on the nuclear issue. Such an attack will be disasterous for the country and the region and will almost certainly kill the Green Movement. As such, I think it would be better if the US made an attempt for negotiations with Iran sooner. The negotiations will almost certainly fail. This is really more a diplomatic move to force China and Russia to come on board and place some real pressure on Iran.

  2. Megan says:

    I posted the following on Friday. Are you censoring comments not favorable to NIAC?

    NIAC is not speaking for Iranian. Every Iranian who is risking his/her life in the streets of Iran these days is supporting the blockade of refined petroleum. They know such a blockade will cripple the current regime and that is what they want. If you have any doubt, ask them. Take a poll or listen to TV and radio broadcasters who are taking calls from people in Iran.

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