'US does not believe Iran trying to build nuclear bomb'
By JPOST.COM STAFF
US intelligence agencies do not believe that Iran is actively trying to build a nuclear weapon, The Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday, citing a highly classified intelligence assessment from early 2011.
According to the report, the intelligence estimate holds that Tehran halted efforts to develop and build a nuclear warhead in 2003.
The Los Angeles Times claims that the report, representing the input of 16 US intelligence agencies, indicates that Iran is conducting research that could eventually enable it to develop a nuclear weapon, but that it has not sought to do so.
The report came as Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu were scheduled to travel to Washington next week for discussions with US Defense Minister Leon Panetta and US President Barack Obama in which a possible attack on Iran's nuclear facilities is expected to figure prominently.
Senior officials in the US, Britain and Russia all publicly entreated Israel this week not to attack Iran.
Diplomats in Vienna said Thursday that Iran is believed to be carrying out preparations to expand nuclear activity at an underground facility in Fordow, giving Iran better protection against a potential Israeli or US strike.