WikiLeaks and the 2007 Iran NIE – Part 1

Published on ZNet, by Linda Pearson, April 13, 2013.

Former US National Intelligence Council chairperson Thomas Fingar received the 2013 Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence on January 23 for his role overseeing the 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran.

The NIE finding’s that all 16 US intelligence agencies judged “with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program” removed the immediate threat of a US-Israeli military attack on Iran.  

It contradicted the previous NIE report from 2005, which had judged with “high confidence” that “Iran currently is determined to develop nuclear weapons despite its international obligations and international pressure”.

In his memoirs, then-US president George W Bush complained that the NIE “tied my hands on the military side … how could I possibly explain using the military to destroy the nuclear facilities of a country the intelligence community said had no active nuclear weapons program?”.

Fingar accepted the Sam Adams Award in a ceremony at the Oxford Union, which was attended by previous winners. The 2010 winner, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange, spoke via video-link from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Assange applauded Fingar for “trying to correct the movement towards war with Iran based on lies”.

Instead of welcoming the NIE’s findings as good news for “international peace and security”, the NIE panicked Western governments who feared the report would undermine their efforts to demonise and isolate Iran … //

… WikiLeaks and the 2007 Iran NIE– Part 2: NIE’s effect on sanctions:

Former chairperson of the US National Intelligence Council, Thomas Fingar, received the 2013 Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence on January 23 for his role overseeing the 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran.

The NIE report’s finding that Iran had no active nuclear weapons program gave lie to years of US-Israeli anti-Iran rhetoric, and has been credited with preventing a pre-emptive war against Iran.

US diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks show that the NIE also hampered Western efforts to pass a fourth United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution against Iran.

In 2006, the US had succeeded in persuading the UNSC to pass a resolution which characterised Iran’s nuclear program as a threat to “international peace and security”. The resolution required Iran to suspend uranium enrichment and paved the way for future sanctions when Iran refused to comply.

Then director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohamed ElBaradei, described this resolution as “a misuse of the council’s authority” because peaceful uranium enrichment is a legal right accorded to members of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The IAEA had found no evidence in Iran of diversion for military purposes.

Iran was clearly being singled out, not for any threat posed by its nuclear program but for its threat to Western hegemony in the Middle East.

Publication of the NIE’s key findings in December 2007 threatened to divide the support needed to pass another UNSC resolution … //

… (full long text including many hyperlinks).

Links:

Julian Assange: Sam Adams Awards, Oxford Union, 21.10 min, uploaded by OxfordUnion, January 25, 2013: ulian Assange gives his address live via Videolink …;

Rebellions and Massacres: Shirin Ebadi at Oxford Union, 2.33 min, uploaded by OxfordUnion, April 15, 2013: Sirin Ebadi highlights why Iran aides Syria in the massacre of their people while they help rebelllions in other countries;
Shirin Ebadi:

Obama advisers say they will urge president to veto CISPA, on Russia Today RT, April 16, 2013.

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