Irrespective of Hadley’s comments, the new NIE actually undermines much of the rationale behind the US-led push for a third round sanctions on Iran, by flatly contradicting what until now has been held as an article of faith by US politicians and much of the media. That is, the notion that Iran has been pursuing an open weapons programme via its uranium-enrichment and reprocessing activities. Such intelligence flip-flops on Iran simply reduce the credibility of any information on that country from Washington and raise international doubts about its real intentions.
The US is today in dire need of a serious rethinking of its long-term policies and intentions in the Middle East, nowadays featuring a “rising Iran”. Also the claim that Iran halted certain nuclear activities due to external pressure should be taken with a grain of salt. Even the IAEA inspections have produced no such conclusions and, on the contrary, have actually reinforced the Iranian claim that Iran has never diverted to military development. Even El Baradei, the IAEA chief has been quite forthcoming regarding the lack of any knowledge of Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.