NEWS: Israel’s new intelligence estimate – mixed threats

Exclusive: Annual Israeli Intelligence Estimate

Deep pessimism alongside cautious optimism- those are the two key principles that emerge from this year’s Annual Israeli Intelligence Estimate. The report will be presented to the security cabinet in several days time by IDF Intelligence Chief Major-General Amos Yadlin, but the highlights are here for you now in a Ynet exclusive report.

The aforementioned pessimism concerns Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The American National Intelligence Estimate “dropped quite a bomb” on Israel’s struggle against Iran’s nuclear program, said officials within Israel’s defense establishment. The US report only diminishes the likelihood that the international community will impose harsh, effective sanctions on Iran and also that the US itself will strike Iranian nuclear facilities.

“It is clear to us now that no one will do the work for us,” one of the report’s authors told Ynet, Israel can now rely solely on its own military capabilities, if and when the Iranian nuclear program achieves its aims.

The differences of opinion among the Israeli and American intelligence communities stem from different methodologies for analyzing raw data. Washington and Jerusalem are in almost total agreement regarding the known facts, as the two supply each other with whatever information they posses. [complete article]

Israel: US Iran report may spark war

Israel’s public security minister warned Saturday that a U.S. intelligence report that said Iran is no longer developing nuclear arms could lead to a regional war that would threaten the Jewish state.

In his remarks — Israel’s harshest criticism yet of the U.S. report — Avi Dichter said the assessment also cast doubt on American intelligence in general, including information about Palestinian security forces’ crackdown on militant groups. The Palestinian action is required as part of a U.S.-backed renewal of peace talks with Israel this month.

Dichter cautioned that a refusal to recognize Iran’s intentions to build weapons of mass destruction could lead to armed conflict in the Middle East. [complete article]

Israeli envoys to U.S. to argue Iran still aiming for nuclear bomb

Israel has dispatched an unscheduled delegation of intelligence officials to the U.S. to try to convince it that Iran is still trying to develop nuclear weapon – contrary to the findings of a recent U.S. intelligence report, security officials say.

The delegation, which set off last week on its unscheduled mission, will wind up its visit this week, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter with the media.

It was not clear what type of material the Israeli delegation – for the most part military intelligence officers – presented to U.S. officials.

“The U.S. and Israel will also hold additional joint formal meetings on the matter in coming weeks,” the Israeli officials said. “Israel will use these forums to try to persuade the Americans that Iran is trying to development nuclear weapons, and intends to present information classified as top secret for security reasons,” the officials said. [complete article]

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