Iran is keeping open the option of developing nuclear weapons but it remains unclear whether Teheran has the “political will” to do so, US director of national intelligence Dennis Blair said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.
In written testimony to Congress, Blair said Iranian advances in enriching uranium backed up judgments in a 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate, or NIE, that Iran is “technically capable” of producing enough highly enriched uranium for a weapon in the “next few years, if it chooses to do so.”
“Iran’s technical advancement, particularly in uranium enrichment, strengthens our 2007 NIE assessment that Iran has the scientific, technical and industrial capacity to eventually produce nuclear weapons, making the central issue its political will to do so,” Blair wrote.
“We continue to assess Iran is keeping open the option to develop
nuclear weapons in part by developing various nuclear capabilities that
bring it closer to being able to produce such weapons, should it choose
to do so. We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to
build nuclear weapons.”
Blair said the United States was concerned about the “real risk” that
Iran’s nuclear program will prompt other countries in the region to
“pursue nuclear options” of their own.