U.S. spy agencies are considering whether to rewrite a controversial 2007 intelligence report that asserted Tehran halted its efforts to build nuclear weapons in 2003, current and former U.S. intelligence officials say.
The intelligence agencies’ rethink comes as pressure is mounting on Capitol Hill, and among U.S. allies, for the Obama administration to redo the 2007 assessment, after a string of recent revelations about Tehran’s nuclear program.
German, French and British intelligence agencies have all disputed the conclusions of the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, or NIE, in recent months, according to European officials briefed on the exchanges. [continued…]
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Thursday that his nation was committed to deepening its ties with Iran, a declaration that underscores the difficulty the United States will face in seeking broad economic sanctions against Tehran in an effort to rein in its nuclear program.
“The Sino-Iranian relationship has witnessed rapid development, as the two countries’ leaders have had frequent exchanges, and cooperation in trade and energy has widened and deepened,” Wen said at a meeting in Beijing with visiting Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, according to the official New China News Agency.
The U.S. and its allies are counting on China and Russia, veto-wielding members of the U.N. Security Council, for support in pressuring Iran to abandon activities the West fears could lead to the development of nuclear weapons. [continued…]