Iran General NewsEnough evidence for concern over Iran's nuclear ambitions: Rice

Enough evidence for concern over Iran’s nuclear ambitions: Rice

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AFP: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday there was plenty of reason to be concerned over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, downplaying press reports that US intelligence on Iran was inadequate. “I believe that there is enough evidence that there are problems with Iran’s civilian nuclear power ambitions,” Rice said in an interview with Univision television, the largest Spanish-language network in the United States.
AFP

WASHINGTON – US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday there was plenty of reason to be concerned over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, downplaying press reports that US intelligence on Iran was inadequate.

“I believe that there is enough evidence that there are problems with Iran’s civilian nuclear power ambitions,” Rice said in an interview with Univision television, the largest Spanish-language network in the United States.

“That’s why you have so many countries trying to make sure that there is no proliferation risk,” she said, according to the text of the interview handed out by the State Department.

According to Rice there are “a number of countries, and indeed the International Atomic Energy Agency itself, that are concerned about suspicious activities in Iran.

“That is why there have been IAEA investigators going out to Iran. That is why the Russians have determined that when they build a nuclear reactor for Iran, they will have to take back the fuel so that there is no proliferation risk,” she said.

US intelligence on Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program is insufficient for making firm judgments, a nine-member panel is expected to report confidentially to President George W. Bush by the end of this month, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The report on the quality of intelligence on nuclear proliferation around the world that Bush ordered last year was also critical of US intelligence gathered on North Korea, but the data on Iran was described as especially worrisome and “scandalous” by people briefed on the panel’s work.

Rice declined to comment on the report. “But, of course, Iran is not an easy place to know precisely what is going on. It’s a very closed-in society,” she said.

US intelligence services are still smarting from reverses in Iraq, where information on Saddam Hussein’s alleged weapons of mass destruction — used to justify a US-led war to topple the dictator — turned out to be erroneous.

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