The Israelis aren’t buying the NIE’s sanguine assessment of the Iranian nuclear program. “It seems Iran in 2003 halted for a certain period of time its military nuclear program, but as far as we know, it has probably since revived it,” say Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
It makes sense that Iran would back off in response to the invasion of Iraq, but then resume their pursuit of nukes once it became clear that the occupation wasn’t going smoothly. As Max Boot points out, the NIE itself offers “high confidence” that the nuke program was stopped in 2003, but only “moderate confidence” that it hasn’t been restarted.
Boot thinks the NIE is a diplomatic victory for the mullahs, because it makes it harder for the US to credibly play bad cop to the Europeans’ good cop. Doesn’t the Israeli position mitigate that problem somewhat, though? Israel does have its own air force, after all.
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