Did Barak Leak New US Intel on Iran’s Nuclear Program?

According to CBS News, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has leaked information to the press about a new, and allegedly more damning, assessment from the US intelligence community about Iran’s nuclear program. Ever since the US National Intelligence Estimate concluded that Iran halted any semblance of a weapons program back in 2003, Israel has been grudgingly working their hawkish rhetoric around that inconvenient conclusion. Now they’ve apparently pounced at the opportunity to amplify press coverage of another assessment, which according to CBS doesn’t conclude Iran has a nuclear weapons program, but says “Iran has made surprising, significant progress toward military nuclear capability,” as stated by Barak.

Earlier in the week I debunked a new report from Haaretz making these same claims, but naming no names. See here for why the new rumors lack any credibility.

The Obama administration has so far refused to speak about this latest news. Trita Parsi, who has demonstrated high-level contacts in the US government, tweeted that behind the scenes Washington is “livid” about Barak’s leaking. No other information has yet been forthcoming.

In the meantime, here’s Nima Shirazi’s pithy take:

From The New York Times on September 8, 2002:

 

From Ha’aretz on August 9, 2012:

Update: Laura Rosen at Al-Monitor on Barak’s leaks:

“The rules of the spy game are clear,” former US Navy intelligence analyst John Schindlerwrote on his blog. “When intelligence services share information, as they do every day, you don’t pass it to third parties without clearance. Ever. And if you do, eventually you will get burned and nobody will want to play marbles with you.”

…Non-proliferation analysts speculated that it could involve one of the categories of continuing research activities specified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in its November 2011 report on Iran. Those research activities were engaging in experimental research, after 2003, on hemispherical initiation of high explosives; further validation, after 2006, of a neutron initiator design; conducting modeling studies, in 2008 and 2009, that could determine the yield of a nuclear explosion.

However, “carrying on scattered research activities does not amount to a full-fledged restart of an integrated weapons program,” Greg Thielmann, a former US intelligence analyst and senior fellow at the Arms Control Association, wrote in an ACA Iran Nuclear Threat Assessment brief (.pdf).

See here and here for information on that November IAEA report and why it changes nothing.

Update II: From Reuters – “US still believes Iran not on verge of nuclear weapon

61 thoughts on “Did Barak Leak New US Intel on Iran’s Nuclear Program?”

  1. I really wish these Israeli warmongers would shut the hell up with their damn dirty lies before they drag the world into a fiery inferno of global war. These people are truly psychopathic.

  2. At some point, you'd think that Team Obama would learn to avoid the Israelis like the plague. But sadly, is not to be the case. Our once great nation is humiliated just about daily by Barak and especially Bibi the nutjob and, our current administration cowers in utter servility. Were the Mittster to gain the presidency, the situation would get even worse.

  3. Well, I'd like to hear from Ray McGovern and Phil Giraldi on this alleged "new" NIE. Has the CIA and the rest of the intelligence agencies finally bowed to pressure like they did with the Iraq "WMD" crap?

    It wouldn't surprise me in the least. When these agencies learn that the real intent of Obama – let alone Romney – is to attack Iran, they either get in line to CYA or there will be reprisals against them by the Administration. This is how the game is played. We've already seen it played once on Iraq, why should we be surprised when it happens with Iran?

    1. This is the best comment yet. The lesson should be never to rely on so-called intel, even when you like what it says. Common sense is a far better thing, the intelligence community is a political animal, not the source of truth or reality. If we ignore the intelligence community as we should it is clear that even if Iran had a nuclear bomb it wouldn't be a threat to the US. The entire nuclear question is irrelevant to the US stance on Iran anyway.

    2. "… or there will be reprisals against them by the Administration…" Don't think so…that option was co-opted by the CIA when they convinced the Administration to not investigate them regarding the torture and rendition issues. Pwned!!!

  4. The US and Israel have been almost silent in regards to Iran over the last several days. Is this the quiet before the storm???

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