New York Times News
Lest we forget Iran, page A1 of the New York Times today graces us with apprehension: U.S. Faces a Tricky Task in Assessment of Data on Iran. But it’s a whole whole lot of nothing for two pages till it ends on this:
The draft version [of the U.S. government’s National Intelligence Estimate of 2010] had concluded that the Iranians were still trying to build a bomb, the same finding of a 2005 assessment. But as they scrutinized the new intelligence from several sources, including intercepted communications in which Iranian officials were heard complaining to one another about stopping the program, the American intelligence officials decided they had to change course, officials said. While enrichment activities continued, the evidence that Iran had halted its weapons program in 2003 at the direction of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was too strong to ignore, they said.
One former senior official characterized the information as very persuasive. “I had high confidence in it,” he said. “There was tremendous evidence that the program had been halted.”
And today, despite criticism of that assessment from some outside observers and hawkish politicians, American intelligence analysts still believe that the Iranians have not gotten the go-ahead from Ayatollah Khamenei to revive the program.
“That assessment,” said one American official, “holds up really well.”
What a waste of a front page, when important stories often land on A18.