Israelis discuss US report on Iran

Meetings under way but Olmert rejects minister's attack on US intelligence estimate.

    Olmert used a cabinet meeting to distance himself from a colleague's views on the US estimate [AFP]

    The US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran, released on December 3, said that Iran halted its nuclear weapons programme in 2003 "in response to international pressure".
     
    It also said that it could state with "moderate confidence" that the programme had not restarted.
     
    Critical assessment
     
    Avi Dichter, Israel's public security minister, had criticised the assessment, saying it could lead to a regional war that would threaten Israel.
     

    "Something went wrong in the American blueprint for analysing the severity of the Iranian nuclear threat," he said on Sunday.

     
    He also suggested that Israel could no longer trust the US intelligence.
     

    "Something went wrong in the American blueprint for analysing the severity of the Iranian nuclear threat"

    Avi Dichter, Israeli Public Security Minister

    Distancing himself from Dichter's comments, Olmert said during Israel's weekly cabinet meeting that they "did not improve our ties with the US", according to senior government official.
     

    Olmert has himself rejected the report, saying that Iran continues its activities to attain components necessary to produce nuclear weapons.

    Israel

    has for years been warning that Iran is working on nuclear weapons and has backed the US in its international efforts to exert pressure on Iran to stop the programme.

    However, Iran says its programme is only for peaceful purposes, with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, calling the NIE report a "great victory" for Iran.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.