U.S. intelligence leaders are mired in denial about Iran’s program to develop and build nuclear weapons — despite the fact that evidence has convinced most experts that Iran does have just such a project, career intelligence specialist Fred Fleitz writes in an Op-Ed column in The Wall Street Journal
|A 2007 file photo shows the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility 180 miles south of Tehran. (Getty Images Photo)
U.S. intelligence officials “are unwilling to conduct a proper assessment of the Iranian nuclear issue — and so they remain at variance with the Obama White House, U.S. allies, and even the United Nations,” writes Fleitz, who retired this year after a 25-year U.S. government intelligence career and now writes for Newsmax.com.
“The last month alone has brought several alarming developments concerning Tehran's nuclear program. International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] chief Yukiya Amano said last month that his agency has new information pointing to the military ambitions of Iran's nuclear program. As of today, Iran has over 4,000 kilograms of low-enriched uranium — enough, according to the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, for four nuclear weapons if enriched to weapons grade,” Fleitz writes in the column, headlined "America's Intelligence Denial on Iran."
Iran has escalated production of low-enriched uranium in defiance of United Nations and IAEA resolutions, Fleitz writes.
“It has also announced plans to install advanced centrifuge machines in a facility built deep inside a mountain near the city of Qom. According to several U.S. diplomats and experts, the facility is too small to be part of a peaceful nuclear program and appears specially constructed to enrich uranium to weapons grade.”
In spite of this and other evidence, Fleitz writes, “Despite all this, U.S. intelligence officials are standing by their assessment, first made in 2007, that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and has not restarted it since.”
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