View Full Version : Just so you have something when people bring up Israel and Iran....

12-23-2007, 09:41 PM
From last week:


Israel Officials in US to Discuss Iran

By AMY TEIBEL Dec 16, 2007

JERUSALEM (AP) Israeli intelligence officials are in the U.S. trying to convince the Bush administration that Iran is still trying to develop nuclear weapons contrary to the findings of a recent U.S. intelligence report, security officials said.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, however, scolded a Cabinet minister on Sunday for his harsh, public criticism of the U.S. report.

The U.S. assessment, released earlier this month, concludes Iran halted its weapons development program in 2003 and that the program remained frozen at least through the middle of this year. The findings reversed a key conclusion from a 2005 intelligence report that Iran was developing a bomb.

Israeli officials fear the report will weaken international resolve to contain Iran's nuclear ambitions.

It was not clear what type of material the Israeli delegation for the most part military intelligence officers presented to U.S. officials during its unscheduled visit. The Israeli delegation hoped to receive additional information from the U.S. report, which for the most part was classified, the Israeli officials said.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter with the media.

The Israeli delegation set off for the U.S. last week and will wind up its visit this week, the officials said.

The U.S. and Israel will hold additional formal meetings on the matter in coming weeks, the Israeli officials said. Israel will use these forums to try to persuade the Americans that Iran is trying to development nuclear weapons, and to present top secret Israeli intelligence material, the officials said.

Before Sunday's regularly scheduled Cabinet meeting, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told reporters that Israel was in contact with the U.S. on the report, "to try to better understand its intelligence content, and to examine the public and political implications."

Israeli intelligence experts have concluded that Iran did in fact suspend its atomic weapons development in 2003, after the U.S. invaded Iraq, the security officials said. But Israel is convinced the Iranians set up a new production line whose details aren't known fully to Western intelligence agencies, they said.

Israel considers the regime in Tehran to be its biggest threat because of its nuclear ambitions, its long-range missile program and repeated calls by its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to wipe Israel off the map.

Iran says its nuclear program is designed to produce energy.

Olmert recently insisted in a high-profile speech that Iran hasn't abandoned its attempts to develop a nuclear weapon. But at Sunday's Cabinet meeting, he indirectly rebuked Public Security Minister Avi Dichter for publicly criticizing the report as a "misconception" that could lead to a surprise regional war.

Without mentioning Dichter by name, Olmert instructed Cabinet ministers to refrain from issuing personal opinions on the report, his office confirmed.

"These utterances don't advance the campaign against the Iranian nuclear program and don't improve relations with the U.S.," Olmert said.

Dichter, a former head of Israel's internal security agency, said in a speech Saturday that "something went wrong in the American blueprint for analyzing the severity of the Iranian nuclear threat."

There you have it: Israel is coming to tell us this why? Why does this matter to us?