Sexta-feira, 7 de Dezembro de 2007

Reacções internacionais ao relatório do NIE

International Media Intelligence Analysis

I-M-I-A Special Report


By Simon Barrett

The National Intelligence Estimate Report on Iran
The office of the Director of National Intelligence, National Intelligence Council prepared a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Irans nuclear programme titled, Iran: Nuclear Intentions.

President Bush press conference (discusses NIE report on Iran)
Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous, and Iran will be dangerous if they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon. The NIE says that Iran had a hidden -- a covert nuclear weapons programme. That's what it said. What's to say they couldn't start another covert nuclear weapons programme? Mr President: I think it is very important for the international community to recognise the fact that if Iran were to develop the knowledge that they could transfer to a clandestine program it would create a danger for the world. And so I view this report as a warning signal that they had the program, they halted the programme. And the reason why it's a warning signal is that they could restart it. And the thing that would make a restarted program effective and dangerous is the ability to enrich uranium, the knowledge of which could be passed on to a hidden programme.

How Much Does Weaponization Matter? Judging Iran's Nuclear Programme
The just-released National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), "Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities," is about weaponization, not the enrichment and fuel cycle issues that have been the focus of multiple UN Security Council and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board resolutions regarding Iran's nuclear programme. The NIE only suggests that Tehran has changed its sequence -- something that does not slow the country's progress toward a nuclear weapon by a single day. Therefore, it is not clear how this report affects the current thrust of U.S. policy: to stem Iran's nuclear fuel cycle capabilities.

U.S. Intel Possibly Duped by Iran
A highly controversial, 150 page National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Irans nuclear programs was coordinated and written by former State Department political and intelligence analysts not by more seasoned members of the U.S. intelligence community, Newsmax has learned. Its most dramatic conclusion that Iran shut down its nuclear weapons program in 2003 in response to international pressure is based on a single, un-vetted source who provided information to a foreign intelligence service and has not been interviewed directly by the United States. Newsmax sources in Tehran believe that Washington has fallen for a deliberate disinformation campaign cooked up by the Revolutionary Guards, who laundered fake information and fed it to the United States through Revolutionary Guards intelligence officers posing as senior diplomats in Europe.

Pentagon: Intelligence Estimate Shows Need to Keep up Pressure on Iran
Defence Secretary Robert M. Gates today pointed to the new national intelligence estimate as evidence that non-military means are the best way for the United States to deal with Irans nuclear enrichment program. Responding to a reporters query during a joint news conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai here, Gates said the estimate, released yesterday, also underscores the need for the international community to continue pressuring Iran not to restart its nuclear weapons programme. If anything, the new national estimate validates the administrations strategy of bringing diplomatic and economic pressures to bear on the Iranian government to change its policies, Gates told reporters. The report finds that the intelligence community has high confidence that Iran halted its covert nuclear weapons programme in the fall of 2003 and they have moderate confidence that they have not restarted that programme as of mid-2007, national security advisor Stephen Hadley said in a Washington news briefing yesterday.

Commentary: Was Bush Behind the Iran Report?
Bombing Iran, it seems, is now off the table. There's no other reasonable take on the latest National Intelligence Estimate that concludes Iran halted its nuclear weapons programme in 2003. But there is also no doubt that the Bush White House was behind this NIE. While the 16 intelligence agencies that make up the "intelligence community" contribute to each National Intelligence Estimate, you can bet that an explosive, 180-degree turn on Iran like this one was green lighted by the President. And explode is what the hawks in and outside the Administration are about to do. They were counting on Bush being the one President prepared to take on Iran. As recently as last month, Bush warned of World War III if Iran so much as thought about building a bomb. Bush's betrayal is not going to go down well. The neocons, clinging to a sliver of hope, will accuse the intelligence community of incompetence; pointing out that as late as 2005 it estimated "with high confidence" that Iran was building a bomb.

U.S. admits intelligence gaps on Iran
NIE has 'only moderate confidence' nuke option halted The U.S. intelligence community has determined that Iran halted nuclear weapons development in an estimate that reversed its earlier assessments and differed from those of Israel. In a position that contrasted with that of the Bush administration, the U.S. intelligence community asserted that Iran ended its nuclear weapons program in 2003. Since then, Teheran has focused on developing uranium enrichment, a process used in the assembly of nuclear weapons, Middle East Newsline reported. The National Intelligence Estimate acknowledged gaps in intelligence regarding Iran's nuclear program. The report said the intelligence community has assessed "with only moderate confidence" that Iran ended its entire nuclear weapons programme.

NIE: An Abrupt About-Face
As many recognise, the latest NIE on Irans nuclear weapons program directly contradicts what the U.S. Intelligence Community was saying just two years previously. And it appears that this about-face was very recent. How recent? Consider that on July 11, 2007, roughly four or so months prior to the most recent NIEs publication, Deputy Director of Analysis Thomas Fingar gave the following testimony before the House Armed Services Committee (emphasis added): Iran and North Korea are the states of most concern to us. The United States concerns about Iran are shared by many nations, including many of Irans neighbours. Iran is continuing to pursue uranium enrichment and has shown more interest in protracting negotiations and working to delay and diminish the impact of UNSC sanctions than in reaching an acceptable diplomatic solution. We assess that Tehran is determined to develop nuclear weapons--despite its international obligations and international pressure. This is a grave concern to the other countries in the region whose security would be threatened should Iran acquire nuclear weapons. This paragraph appeared under the subheading: "Iran Assessed As Determined to Develop Nuclear Weapons." And the entirety of Fingars 22-page testimony was labelled "Information as of July 11, 2007." No part of it is consistent with the latest NIE, in which our spooks tell us Iran suspended its covert nuclear weapons programme in 2003.


President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran needs 50,000 centrifuges to supply fuel for one year to a power plant. In a meeting with war veterans here on Wednesday, Ahmadinejad said, "When we commissioned 164 series of centrifuges, the ill-wishers told us to stop there and that they would ignore it, but "we said we need 50,000 centrifuges to supply fuel for one year to a power plant." The president said Iran continued industrial production of nuclear fuel in spite of ill-wishers' will. On the possible issuance of a new resolution at the United Nations Security Council against Iran's peaceful nuclear activities, the president said, "Our nation does not fear such threats."

Iran Celebrates the NIE Report
The U.S. intelligence report on Irans nukes is being hailed in Tehran as a political victory by an exultant Ahmadinejad and his supporters, and is a clear cause of worry for Irans neighbors. But there are also some within Iran worried about its implications, reports Meir Javedanfar. The The new assessment by US intelligence agencies, which states that Iran halted its nuclear weapons programme in 2003, has been enthusiastically received by Iranian media and officials. Bush is the biggest loser of the US intelligence report read the headline in Wednesdays edition of the Keyhan newspaper. Similar sentiments were shared by the pro-Ahmadinejad Raja News Agency, which called the report is a disgrace for the White House. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad himself joined in the exultations. While addressing a large crowd in the city of Ilam on Wednesday, he boasted that the publication of the recent US intelligence report with regards to Irans nuclear program can be considered as one of the biggest political victories for the people of Iran.

President Views NIE Report a Bullet in Enemy's Head
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that the US intelligence report on the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme shot a bullet into the head of all ill-wishers of the Iranian nation. Addressing a large public congregation in Iran's western province of Ilam on Wednesday, the president said that despite enemies' efforts, the Iranian nation could gain victory on the nuclear scene. "Today, Iran has turned to a nuclear country and all the world countries, even the western states, have accepted this fact," he said. "Three months ago I announced that the political story of Iran's nuclear issue ended and that the Iranian nation would continue its clear and glorious path, but some imagined that I wanted to give courage to the Iranian nation," the president continued.


Britain says potential threat from Iran remains
The British government believes that the potential threat from Iran remains a 'very serious issue' despite a US intelligence report saying that Tehran halted its atomic weapons programme in 2003. Foreign Secretary David Miliband said suspicions about Iran's intentions were inevitable, given that Tehran was enriching uranium while there were no civilian nuclear power plants in the country capable of using it. Asked whether the new US report made military action against Iran less likely, Miliband said Britain remained '100 per cent focused, with the rest of the international community, on a diplomatic resolution to this issue.' 'They (Iran) have no nuclear power plants to put this enriched uranium into. That's why people have fears about what the enrichment is for. That's why they have fears about the dangers of weaponization,' Miliband said in a BBC interview.

Sarkozy: Iran report reinforces concerns
PARIS (AP) French President Nicolas Sarkozy said a new U.S. intelligence report saying Iran stopped its nuclear weapons development in 2003 reinforces international concerns and should not diminish pressure for new sanctions. Sarkozy's office said early Thursday that he had spoken Wednesday night with President Bush about the report, which reversed earlier American statements and said Iran had halted the nuclear program because of international pressure. The report also contained warnings about Iran's continued nuclear activity, however, and said that it could have a nuclear bomb between 2010 and 2015.Sarkozy said that if confirmed, the findings mean "international concerns since 2002 about the intentions of nuclear activities in Iran would be further reinforced," his office said. The demands of the international community therefore are pertinent: Iran should cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency and suspend its enrichment activities," the statement said. Irans refusal to conform justifies a new U.N. resolution reinforcing sanctions," it said.

Germany Calls for Continued Pressure on Iran
The German government said Wednesday that the international community needed to continue pressing Iran to halt its uranium enrichment program as Tehran remained in violation of international law. Iran continued to violate international law in this respect because it was failing to adhere to UN Security Council resolutions, German government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said. "There remains a cause for concern," the spokesman said, two days after a US intelligence assessment concluded that Tehran appeared to have suspended its nuclear weapons program in 2003. At the same time, Wilhelm said an offer of cooperation with Iran remained in force if the government there agreed to halt enrichment, which some nations in the West fear is geared towards making a bomb. "The findings (of the report) confirm what the German government has always said -- that diplomatic negotiations are promising," Wilhelm told a press conference.

European Press Review: Iran Report Could Impact Elections
Some European papers saw the US Iran report as a danger to Israel, while others took it as hope for diplomacy. In any case, World War Three has been avoided -- at least for now. Writing on Wednesday, Dec. 5, from Munich, the Sddeutsche Zeitung said the recent US report, which stated that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003, was intended to avoid a mistake similar to the invasion of Iraq in 2001. "The domestic consequences of the reversal are incalculable," continued the paper. "The distrust will now intensify in favor of the Democrats." Only Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's popularity will suffer from the report as she had been the most outspoken against Iran in her party, opined the Sddeutsche Zeitung.

Details in Military Notes Led to Shift on Iran, US Says
American intelligence agencies obtained notes last summer from deliberations of Iranian military officials involved in the nuclear weapons programme. American intelligence agencies reversed their view about the status of Iran's nuclear weapons programme after they obtained notes last summer from the deliberations of Iranian military officials involved in the weapons development programme, senior intelligence and government officials said on Wednesday.


Israel urges strong position on Iran
Daily Telegraph: Israel gave warning yesterday that Iran must either co-operate with the West over its uranium enrichment programme or face military action. Ron Prosor, Israel's newly appointed ambassador to Britain and one of his country's leading experts on Iran's nuclear programme, said that Teheran could enrich enough uranium to make an atomic bomb by 2009."At the current rate of progress Iran will reach the technical threshold for producing fissile material by 2009," he told The Daily Telegraph. "This is a global threat and it requires a global response. It should be made clear that if Iran does not co-operate then military confrontation is inevitable. It is either co-operation or confrontation." Mr Prosor, who served Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, as his senior adviser on Iran, said that time for resolving the nuclear issue was rapidly running out. However, he was non-committal about the possibility of Israel launching military action."There needs to be full verification of what is happening in Iran," said Mr Prosor, who was speaking for the first time since his arrival in London last month. "In Israel there is a belief that the Iranians are continuing with their nuclear weapons programme."

Analysis: Why does US and Israeli intel differ?
All it took was eight pages, and the entire international front against Iran has undergone a revolution. The US intelligence report released Monday with the claim that Iran froze its nuclear military track four years ago has Israel concerned that the United States is weakening its strong stance against Iran that had President George W. Bush warning that World War III would break out if the ayatollahs got their hands on a bomb. What the report makes even clearer are the major differences between the various intelligence agencies in Israel and the United States. The Mossad claims that the Iranians will be able to develop a nuclear bomb by the end of 2009; Military Intelligence warns that Teheran will cross the technological threshold within six months; and now the Americans are putting the timeline toward the middle of the next decade, or 2013 at the earliest.

Decoding the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate on Iran's Nuclear Weapons Programme
The U.S. government's latest National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) has concluded that Iran froze its active efforts to manufacture nuclear weapons in 2003, and will not have such a capability until at least 2012. While the NIE states that the U.S. intelligence community has "high confidence" that the Iranians halted their nuclear weapons programme in 2003, it also states that it has only "moderate confidence" that Tehran has not restarted the programme. In contrast, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak has said that while it is "apparently true that in 2003, Iran stopped pursuing its military nuclear programme for a certain period of time," nonetheless, he adds that "in our estimation, since then it is apparently continuing with its programme to produce a nuclear weapon."

'US nuclear report based on notes of Iranian officials'
The new US intelligence assessment which stated that Iran halted its nuclear weapons programme four years ago was based mainly on notes acquired last summer from discussions between Iranian military officials, senior intelligence and government officials told The New York Times on Thursday. The notes reportedly detailed conversations in which certain army officials complained about Iranian leaders' 2003 decision to shut down efforts to develop nuclear weapons. The notes gave no clue as to why Iran had decided to stop weapons development. The information contained in the notes was supported by other intelligence, including conversations between Iranian officials which had been intercepted in recent months, the paper reported.

I-M-I-A seeks to provide news and analysis of world-shaping events.

publicado por nx às 10:37
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Quinta-feira, 22 de Novembro de 2007

Triple Entente or Dual Alliance

Professor Raymond Tanter and Thomas McInerney, Lt. Gen. USAF (Ret)


[21.11.07] In 1776, Benjamin Franklin went to Paris as America’s first ambassador to gain support for American independence. Franklin convinced Paris to recognize U.S. independence from Britain and concluded an alliance. Scholar Leo Lemay wrote: “There is no doubt that America would not have won the Revolutionary War against Britain without France's financial and military aid and that Franklin was almost entirely responsible for obtaining that aid.”


Now Washington again needed Paris during the first State visit of President Nicolas Sarkozy to America. Sarkozy’s visit advanced the cause of American-French relations almost as much as the sojourn of Benjamin Franklin. This time around, Paris can play a role in unison with Washington and London, instead of in conflict with London, as during the Revolutionary War. At issue, however, is whether London will join a “triple entente” with Paris and Washington or allow a new “dual alliance” to isolate the British.


On the Bush-Sarkozy agenda was policy on Iran. But Washington cannot solve a growing crisis with Iran on its own and needs assistance from Paris and London to fashion a transatlantic policy. The European Union (EU) maintains leverage over Iran in trade, credits, and investment. EU member states constitute Iran’s main trading partner, with a 35% total market share; the EU supplies 44% of Iran’s total imports.


Both presidents agreed that with the bomb, an Iranian regime driven by aggressive Islamist ideology would create an unprecedented international crisis. So far, however, Iran’s nuclear clock ticks faster than stalled Western diplomacy.


Consistent with the Sarkozy position that, "Iran represents the most important problem on the international scene," on October 25, Washington blacklisted the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and its affiliates because of its tasks: save the clerical regime from its opposition, export terrorism and radical Islamism, suppress the Iranian people, and produce nuclear weapons.


Absent a third UN Security Council resolution, France suggested EU members willing to implement sanctions should not wait for others. If the EU, led by Paris, would impose Washington-like sanctions on Tehran, it would make the regime feel pressure of a unified West.


This growing relationship between 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and the Elysee Palace is encroaching upon the “special relationship” between the White House and 10 Downing Street. Hence, it is essential that London join Washington and Paris in a transatlantic trio to enhance sanctions against Iran, with or without a UN Security Council Resolution or EU consensus.


And to reinforce the diplomatic front, London, Paris, and Washington should look to the Iranian street. Major anti-government demonstrations in protest of gasoline rationing in June indicate that Iran is rife with disenchantment and ripe for coercive diplomacy.


Given growing Iranian instability, consider three options: multilateral diplomacy, unilateral military action, and empowerment of the Iranian people. Empowerment would reinforce diplomacy and make military action unnecessary.


Because Tehran has failed to respond to the diplomatic option, EU emphasis on diplomacy is likely to lead to a nuclear-armed Iran, something the United States will not allow. The more Europe stresses a failing diplomatic option, the more Washington moves toward the military option, which Europe correctly wants to avoid.


On August 27, President Sarkozy said that increasing sanctions while holding out the possibility of dialogue with Iran was the only policy “that can enable us to escape an alternative that I say is catastrophic: the Iranian bomb or the bombing of Iran.”


For coercive diplomacy to work requires the West gain leverage over Tehran by empowering the Iranian people. Empowerment requires an organized resistance movement in the lead not Western-styled regime change, as in the 1953 UK-USA overthrow of the elected government of Iran. The role the Iranian opposition can play is crucial in an Iranian solution to the dilemma of an Iranian bomb or bombing Iran.


The Iranian parliament-in-exile, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK) are Iranian opposition groups that threaten survival of the extremist regime in Tehran. A study of regime statements by the Iran Policy Committee finds that Tehran pays attention to the MEK 350% more than all other groups combined.


A 16-month review by the United States in July 2004 found no basis to charge members of the MEK in Iraq with violations of American laws, though the group is listed as a terrorist organization by the State Department. Interviews by officials from State and FBI did not produce any basis to indict MEK members. In July 2004, General Geoffrey Miller, then deputy commander in Iraq, announced MEK members as protected persons by the United States, under the Fourth Geneva Convention, providing them new rights.


And because the NCRI is not on the EU list, London and Paris are in a position to convince Washington to remove the NCRI from the State Department list. Indeed, Washington is considering whether to remove the NCRI from its terrorist lists; hence, Sarkozy has an opportunity to help Bush move in the direction the White House is already moving. Now is the time to reinforce unilateral American sanctions against Tehran with a common western approach, led by London, Paris, and Washington, to empower the Iranian people via their opposition groups.


Ambassador Benjamin Franklin would be proud to see President Sarkozy advancing the cause of American-French relations, reinforcing diplomacy, and preventing war by empowering the Iranian people to oppose the unelected clerical regime. Such a move would be consistent with the Benjamin Franklin dictum, “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.”


Professor Raymond Tanter is a former senior staffer of the National Security Council in the Reagan-Bush White House and is President of Iran Policy Committee. General Thomas McInerney (USAF, Ret.) is former Assistant Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force and Chair of the Iran Policy Committee Advisory Council.
publicado por nx às 10:34
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Paulo Casaca
Walid Phares
Raymond Tanter
Thomas McInerney
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