A highly classified US intelligence assessment circulated among policymakers early last year largely affirms the view, originally made in 2007. Both reports, known as national intelligence estimates, conclude that Iran halted efforts to develop and build a nuclear warhead in 2003.
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The LA Times goes on to claim that the most recent report, which represents the consensus of 16 US intelligence agencies, indicates that Iran is pursuing research that could put it in a position to build a weapon, but that it has not sought to do so.
Visit at the nuclear facility (Photo: EPA)
And while Iran continues to enrich uranium at low levels, US officials say they have not seen evidence that has caused them to significantly revise that judgment.
Senior US officials say Israel does not dispute the basic intelligence or analysis.
The dispute then is over the critical level that would signal a strike. Israel regards Iran as a threat to its existence and says it will not allow Iran to become capable of building and delivering a nuclear weapon. Some Israeli officials have raised the prospect of a military strike to stop Iran before it's too late. Meanwhile, American officials warn that a strike is too dangerous.
As the March 5 meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama gets closer, diplomatic sources in Washington told Ynet that "Obama will try to convince Netanyahu that he's serious about his intentions to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear state."
The president is expected to tell Netanyahu: "Trust me, I'm serious." Yet sources also noted that it "was not enough to talk. There needs to be trust between these two people in order for the things to be received in the right way."
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