US report: Iran not after nuclear arms
Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:15AM
The Bushehr nuclear power plant, launched in August 2010, is expected to generate electricity in the near future.The latest US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) has reiterated its 2007 position that the Islamic Republic of Iran is not after nuclear arms.US spy agencies have concluded in the report that Iran has not decided whether to develop atomic weapons, Reuters reported on Thursday. The 2007 NIE report on Iran reversed the US intelligence community's previous assessment in 2005 that Tehran was running a covert nuclear weapons program. Iran says its nuclear program is solely aimed at peaceful purposes, but Washington and its allies have repeatedly accused Tehran of intending to run a nuclear arm program. Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has made clear that atomic weapons are against core principles of Islam, mainly due to their mass destructive nature.
The Islamic Republic says that as a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency and a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it has the right to use peaceful nuclear energy.
In June 2010, the UN Security Council imposed a fourth round of sanctions against Iran's financial and military sectors under Western pressure.
In 2007, Israeli leaders reacted in shock and anger to the publication of the NIE report, which disputed their long-standing claims of "an Iranian nuclear threat."
Tel Aviv, which reportedly houses an arsenal of some 200 nuclear warheads, views Tehran's nuclear program as a mortal threat.
Israeli leaders have repeatedly threatened to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities out of existence, but the release of the 2007 report significantly weakened their drive for war.
This is while the Islamic Republic, since its establishment in 1979, has gone to war only once, to defend itself against an Iraqi offensive in 1980, whereas Israel has invaded Lebanon, bombed Syria and Iraq, and regularly bombed and attacked the Gaza Strip at will.