Ominously, whereas the Los Angeles Times leads this story with "Iran has no nuke program, U.S. intel says," the hawkish Washington Postleads with "Iran Is Judged 10 Years From Nuclear Bomb." The WaPo diction (for which poor Dafna Linzer is almost certainly not responsible) implies facts not in evidence. Iran cannot be 10 years away from a bomb if it has no weapons program. It would have to constitute a weapons program and then it would be X years from having a bomb. But the WaPo way of putting it is going to dominate the debate from here on in. Cheney may yet have his way, down the road, by inspiring younger hawks.And here's the NIE (page 7):
D. Iranian entities are continuing to develop a range of technical capabilities that could
be applied to producing nuclear weapons, if a decision is made to do so. For example,
Iran’s civilian uranium enrichment program is continuing. We also assess with high
confidence that since fall 2003, Iran has been conducting research and development
projects with commercial and conventional military applications—some of which would
also be of limited use for nuclear weapons.
E. We do not have sufficient intelligence to judge confidently whether Tehran is willing
to maintain the halt of its nuclear weapons program indefinitely while it weighs its
options, or whether it will or already has set specific deadlines or criteria that will prompt
it to restart the program.