“Uncertainty over CIA assessment of Qom before 2007 NIE”

“Uncertainty over CIA assessment of Qom before 2007 NIE”
October 7 & 8, 2009
     In an interview, CIA Director Leon Panetta states that the CIA began observing the Qom site in 2006 but only reached the “high-confidence conclusion” that the site was a covert nuclear facility “earlier this year [2009]” (Time). The Wall Street Journal argues that the relevations over the Qom site indicate that US intelligence was aware of possible covert uranium enrichment-related work when they released the 2007 NIE, which concluded with “high confidence” that Iran had “halted” its nuclear weapons program (defined in the NIE as “nuclear weapon design and weaponization work and covert uranium conversion-related and uranium enrichment-related work”) in 2003 (Wall Street Journal).
     While the 2007 NIE had assessed with “moderate confidence” that Iran would likely use covert facilities to produce highly enriched uranium, it also judged “with moderate confidence” that such covert efforts had been halted in 2003 and not been restarted as of mid-2007 (National Intelligence Council).
Time | Wall Street Journal | National Intelligence Council

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