JERUSALEM, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Iran has made significant progress toward a nuclear weapons capability, a U.S. National Intelligence Estimate report says.
Unnamed Western diplomats and Israeli officials told Israeli newspaper Haaretz the report's findings appear to share Israel's view and are similar to conclusions drawn up by Israel's intelligence community.
The report was to have been submitted to U.S. President Barack Obama some weeks ago but was revised to include "new and alarming intelligence," concerning Iran's nuclear program, the paper said. The report says Iran has made surprising and notable progress in research and development of key components of its military nuclear program.
Iran has consistently stated that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
The NIE differs from one published in 2007, which stunned Israel and other Western countries at the time when it maintained Iran suspended its military nuclear program in 2003 and there was no conclusive proof of its revival, the paper said.
The new NIE report was compiled by an inter-departmental team headed by U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and articulates the views of U.S. intelligence agencies, Haaretz said.
Tommy Vietor, the spokesman for the National Security Council at the White House refused to comment on the report, Haaretz said.
National Intelligence Estimates are classified documents compiled by U.S. intelligence agencies for policymakers.
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