Iran halted work toward a nuclear weapon in 2003 and is unlikely to be able to produce enough enriched uranium for a bomb until 2010 to 2015, according to a new U.S. intelligence report.
A declassified summary of the latest National Intelligence Estimate that came out Monday, found with "high confidence" that the Iran stopped an effort to develop nuclear weapons in the fall of 2003.
The estimate is less severe than a 2005 report that judged the Iranian leadership was "determined to develop nuclear weapons despite its international obligations and international pressure."
But the latest report also said Iran could reverse that decision and eventually produce a nuclear weapon if it wants to do so.
Nevertheless, it suggested that a combination of "threats of intensified international scrutiny and pressures, along with opportunities for Iran to achieve its security, prestige and goals for regional influence in other ways," could persuade the Iranian leadership to continue its suspension of nuclear weapons research.
The report came amid widespread reports that the Bush administration is attempting to maneuver the United States into a conflict with Iran.
The United States has long accused Iran of secretly developing nuclear weapons, but Iran has insisted its nuclear program is strictly aimed at producing electricity.
(Xinhua News Agency December 4, 2007)