Thursday, December 06, 2007

Notes from Iran military led to U.S. reversal - International Herald Tribune

Notes from Iran military led to U.S. reversal - International Herald Tribune

WASHINGTON: U.S. intelligence agencies reversed their view about the status of Iran's nuclear weapons program after they obtained notes last summer from the deliberations of Iranian military officials involved in the program, according to senior U.S. intelligence and government officials.

The notes included conversations and deliberations in which some of the military officials complained bitterly about what they termed a decision by their superiors in late 2003 to end a complex engineering effort to design nuclear weapons, including a warhead that could fit atop Iranian missiles.

The newly obtained notes contradicted public assertions by U.S. intelligence officials that the nuclear weapons design effort was still active. But according to the intelligence and government officials, who spoke Wednesday, they give no hint why Iran's leadership decided to halt the covert effort.

Ultimately, the notes and deliberations were corroborated by other intelligence, the officials said, including intercepted conversations among Iranian officials, collected in recent months. It is not clear whether those conversations involved the same officers and others whose deliberations were recounted in the notes or whether they included their superiors.

The U.S. officials who described the highly classified operation, which led to one of the biggest reversals in the history of U.S. nuclear intelligence, declined to describe how the notes were obtained.

No comments: