U.S. Spies: Iran Split on Nuclear Program

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U.S. Spies: Iran Split on Nuclear Program

Post by Joe Bese on Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:17 am

WASHINGTON—A new classified U.S. intelligence assessment concludes that Iran's leaders are locked in an increasingly heated debate over whether to move further toward developing nuclear weapons, saying the bite of international sanctions may be sowing discord.

The new national intelligence estimate, or NIE, says Tehran likely has resumed work on nuclear-weapons research in addition to expanding its program to enrich uranium—updating a contested 2007 estimate that concluded the arms program had all but halted in 2003.

But it doesn't conclude that Iran has relaunched a full-blown program to try to build bombs. According to the assessment, Iran's debate over whether to do so suggests international sanctions may be causing divisions in Tehran, U.S. officials said.

Joe Bese

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Re: U.S. Spies: Iran Split on Nuclear Program

Post by Strawberry on Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:08 am

This seems related -

(Reuters) - The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on Iran's Bank Refah for facilitating the purchase of millions of dollars worth of missiles and tanks by the Defense Ministry.

Those purchases enabled Iran's leadership to maintain its fighter jets and submarines, the U.S. Treasury Department said in its announcement.

"Treasury has now exposed 20 banks owned by the government of Iran for supporting Iran's nuclear and missile programs or terrorism," said Stuart Levey, Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.


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