December 4, 2007

US intelligence report concluded Iran halted a drive for atomic weapons in 2003

Iran welcomed a US intelligence report which concluded it halted a drive for atomic weapons in 2003, saying the study undermined accusations by US President George W. Bush against Tehran. The report by the US intelligence community said that US allegations about Iran's atomic goals had been exaggerated for at least two years, although it could have the capability to make a nuclear weapon by 2015. The head of the UN's atomic watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, said it should help defuse the crisis surrounding Tehran's contested nuclear programme.

A senior official of the IAEA, which has been investigating the Iranian nuclear programme for the past four years, earlier said the report confirmed its assessment that Tehran represents "no imminent danger." But the White House and its European allies urged no let-up in pressure amid talks for a third UN sanctions resolution punishing Tehran for its continued enrichment of uranium in defiance of the UN Security Council.

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