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Some U.S. allies foresee a nuclear-armed Iran
World not speaking with one voice on response to regime’s activities
Question of the Day
Other U.S. allies are more circumspect but also back the IAEA view that secret weapons work may be continuing.
A British official told the Associated Press that London and Washington had the same analysis on Iran. But the official, who asked for anonymity in exchange for commenting on the confidential report, said Britain agreed with the IAEA assessment.
Public statements by some British officials go even further. During a visit to Washington in January, Defense Secretary Philip Hammond said his “working assumption is that [Iranians] are working flat out” to produce a nuclear weapon.
Diplomats accredited to the IAEA, who also asked they not be named because of the sensitivity of the issue, said France and Germany also believe some work continued past 2003 and possibly into the present.
U.S. intelligence role
Complicating the picture are signs U.S. officials may be continuing to act as a main intelligence source for the IAEA’s case that Iran’s weapons work is continuing even while publicly standing by earlier conclusions that Iran stopped nine years ago.
A senior international official refused to say directly whether Washington is providing intelligence that backs up such suspicions. He did say, however, that the United States is one of the main sources on Iran’s atomic weapons work.
There is more clarity about Iran’s nuclear-enrichment program.
Iran has enriched tons of fuel-grade material since its clandestine program was discovered 10 years ago. Its total low- and higher-level stockpile is now enough for four weapons and is growing daily.
“They have the know-how, the technology, the infrastructure, everything,” he said. “Once they decide to build a bomb, they will be able to build a bomb unless somebody stops them.”
By Matt Kibbe
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