News Release

U.S. Report Stating Iran Halted Nuke Program Finally Released


The New York Times lead headline this afternoon on its website was “U.S. Says Iran Ended Atomic Arms Work: Report Contradicts Prior Intelligence Assessment.”

The report in question is the National Intelligence Estimate, “Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capablities.”

Foreign correspondent and author of the new book The Iran Agenda: The Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis, Erlich is available for a limited number of interviews. He said today: “The NIE released today has been suppressed by the Bush Administration since February. It clearly indicates that the White House, and Vice President Cheney in particular, have been lying about the nuclear threat from Iran as part of a conscious effort to whip up public support for bombing Iran. But the ‘realist’ wing of the White House seems to be prevailing for the moment. The official press release emphasizes negotiations, not bombing.

“Yet the U.S. continues its covert war against Iran, using Kurdish and other minority group organizations to blow up buildings, kill soldiers and civilians. All factions in the White House continue to seek the overthrow of the Iranian government, in complete violation of international law and the 1981 Algiers Accords signed by the U.S. and Iran, which prohibit political or military interference in the internal affairs of Iran.”
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Sahimi is professor of chemical engineering at the University of Southern California. His articles on U.S./Iranian relations include “The follies of Bush’s Iran policy,” which he co-wrote with Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi. Also: “Norman Podhoretz’s War Prayer.”

Sahimi said today: “After nearly two decades of accusing Iran of having a secret nuclear weapon program, the United States is finally acknowledging that Iran does not have such a program. This is completely in line with what the Iranian government has been saying all along, that its nuclear facilities that have been declared to the International Atomic Energy Agency are the only facilities that it has, and because they are safeguarded and monitored by the IAEA, they cannot be used in illicit weapon activities. The time has come for direct negotiations between Iran and the United States to resolve the outstanding issues between the two nations, which will help the peace and stability in the Middle East.”

Ong is Iran Policy Analyst at the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation and is writing regularly on Iran’s nuclear program; her most recent piece is “Long-Awaited National Intelligence Estimate on Iran Finally Released.” Ong said today: “This NIE, which represents the consensus view of all 16 American intelligence agencies, says that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains on hold. This new assessment contradicts the 2005 NIE, which assessed with ‘high confidence’ that Iran was determined to have a nuclear weapon and was working inexorably towards this end.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167.