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December 05, 2007

Curveball: Defected Iranian General Source For NIE Claim of Nuke Freeze?

Yeah, Curveball baby. Because this guy wasn't any more in on the loop than was the Iraqi source called Curveball.

More: While everyone spins this as a claim that Iran is denuclearized, the report says that there is "high confidence" the program was suspended for a period and merely "moderate confidence" it is still suspended."

In other words: They don't fucking know.

Thanks to CJ.

What's This? This USAToday article may offer the best explanation:

For all of the effort spent trying to determine the scope of Iran's nuclear weapons program, it was a media visit to Iran that helped the intelligence community reconsider its assessment of the program, U.S. intelligence officials said Monday.

Photographs taken during the media visit this year weren't decisive in determining when Iran stopped its nuclear program, said an officer who helped prepare a National Intelligence Estimate released Monday.

But the photos from Iran's Natanz nuclear facility were reviewed by intelligence analysts who concluded Iran continues to face "significant technical problems" in using the facility to enrich uranium, the officer said.


In revising their estimate, intelligence officers said they were mindful of "lessons learned" from a 2002 report that overstated the case for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

"We had to show our homework," one said, by justifying the new judgments to intelligence agency leaders who OK'd the final version.


The intelligence officials also cited Libya's decision in 2003 to stop its nuclear program and the arrest of Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan as reasons Iran stopped trying to develop weapons.

The estimate, the collective judgment of the nation's 16 intelligence agencies, said Iran had not restarted its weapons program as of mid-2007 but could resume weapons development.

The intelligence community concluded in 2005 that Iran was "determined to develop nuclear weapons despite its international obligations and international pressure."

Technical limitations, both estimates concluded, make it hard for Iran to produce weapons-grade uranium before the early years of the next decade, at a minimum.

Why Was It Leaked? A lot of people are speculating that Bush ordered it leaked, as some sort of diplomatic truffle for Iran.

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posted by Ace at 07:15 PM

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