Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad listening to an expert during a tour of Tehran’s research reactor center on February 15, 2012 (AFP Photo) TRENDS: Israel vs Iran TAGS: Conflict, Nuclear, Politics, Iran, USA, Israel, Security
Israel’s intelligence service Mossad has acknowledged, just like their American counterparts, there is no proof Tehran is carrying out a nuclear weapons program, a source in US intelligence told the New York Times. An unnamed former senior US intelligence official told the paper “Mossad does not disagree with the US on the [Iranian] weapons program.”
The consensus among US spy agencies remains that Iran stopped its nuclear weapons research several years ago.
“There is not a lot of dispute between the US and Israeli intelligence communities on the facts,” the official continued. Such recognition comes in stark contrast with Israeli politicians, who have continually insisted on an immediate military strike on Iran’s nuclear installations to prevent it from evolving into an “existential threat” to the Jewish state.
The assessment of the intelligence available is the key to the ongoing war or peace dilemma with Iran. US spy agencies have been searching around for years, trying to find proof Iran is developing a nuclear warhead and missiles to deliver it. For all of their troubles, this is what they’ve found: the program was shut down way back in 2003.
As of today, the intelligence data on Iran has not significantly changed. “Iran is the hardest intelligence target there is. It is harder by far than North Korea,” another former intelligence officer confessed to the NYT. His explanation was simple: the US doesn’t have many agents on the ground to verify information.
There are reports the US use sensors implanted near Iranian nuclear facilities to monitor the situation.
But while intelligence circles might admit Iran is not close to obtaining nuclear weapons, the sanctions against Iran remain in place. Meanwhile, neither Israeli nor American leaders make any bones of threatening Iran with a military solution to prevent the country’s frustrated nuclear ambitions from seeing the light of day. Iran insists on the utterly peaceful character of its nuclear program and promises not to give it up at any cost.