Reuters reports: The United States still believes that Iran is not on the verge of having a nuclear weapon and that Tehran has not made a decision to pursue one, U.S. officials said on Thursday.
Their comments came after Israeli media reports claimed U.S. President Barack Obama had received a new National Intelligence Estimate saying Iran had made significant and surprising progress toward military nuclear capability.
Later, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak suggested that the new U.S. report, which he acknowledged might be something other than a National Intelligence Estimate, “transforms the Iranian situation into an even more urgent one.”
But a White House National Security Council spokesman disputed the Israeli reports, saying the U.S. intelligence assessment of Iran’s nuclear activities had not changed since intelligence officials delivered testimony to Congress on the issue earlier this year.
“We believe that there is time and space to continue to pursue a diplomatic path, backed by growing international pressure on the Iranian government,” the spokesman said. “We continue to assess that Iran is not on the verge of achieving a nuclear weapon.”
U.S. officials would not directly comment on whether there was a new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran, which is a compilation of views of the various U.S. intelligence agencies.