According to President Shimon Peres, historically, intelligence reports sometimes turn out to be inaccurate, but on the Iranian issue the international community must eschew compromise and focus on a few clear warning signs.
Peres thus spoke during a meeting with former American Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who is visiting Israel. He warned that whenever Iran develops a successful civilian nuclear energy program, the transition to developing nuclear weapons will be quick and easy.
Furthermore, Peres warned that it was impossible for any intelligence agency to know the exact nature and scope of the technological knowledge purchased from North Korea and Russia at high prices. "We are likely to wake up one morning and discover that comprehensive nuclear technology was passed on without interruption and is close to implementation," he said.
The President spoke with Albright regarding Israeli fears of Iranian investment in developing long-range ballistic missiles capable of hitting targets in Europe. Peres said that Iran has no justification for building these conventional missiles, hides its intentions and activities, and feeds the international community nothing more that crumbs of information.
Peres indicated that he was concerned by remarks made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, pointing to the extremist leader's declared intention to destroy Israel and sow destruction upon the democratic world. The President concluded by saying that the international community must not cease its efforts against Ahmadinejad and the Iranian nuclear weapons program.
Livni: World can't afford Iran as nuclear superpower
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni reiterated Wednesday that sanctions must be tightened. "As we speak," Livni said to Slovenia's President Danilo Türk during a meeting in Ljubljana, "Iran continues to work towards nuclear capabilities. It is clear the world can not afford that."
Livni emphasized that Iran repeatedly defied the UN Security Council's decisions and praised the reactions in Washington and Europe to the report "that show they understand Iran must be prevented from becoming a nuclear superpower."
NIE and the intelligence u-turnThe American National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) — a report representing the collective views of all 16 US intelligence agencies — which was published Monday, asserted that Iran froze its nuclear weapons program as far back as 2003, and that the country no longer works toward developing the technology apart from uranium enrichment. The estimate contradicts the picture accepted by western intelligence agencies over the past two years, according to which Iran was zealously working to build a nuclear weapon.
Ahmadinejad responded to the NIE Wednesday morning by declaring that Iran has no intention of forfeiting its plans for a civilian nuclear program and called the American report a "declaration of victory" for the Iranian Nuclear Program. "Today, the Iranian nation is victorious but you (the US) came out empty handed…. The report declares the victory of the Iranian nation on the nuclear issue over the international community."