The European View on Iran: Fallout from the New U.S. Intelligence Estimate

[Washington Institute for Near East Policy] Neil Crompton, Hans-Peter Hinrichsen, and Nicholas Roche - Crompton: Much of the reporting in the United States about the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) has been misleading. The European and international concern about Iran's nuclear ambitions has never been about weaponization, but rather the other elements essential to having nuclear weapons, namely uranium enrichment and missiles. Hinrichsen: The NIE has not had a significant impact on Germany's policy towards Iran. German policy has never been based on Iran's hidden nuclear program, but on its large enrichment program and the heavy water reactor it is building. That reactor has no civilian use. Roche: The NIE has made more noise in Washington than in Europe. France's strategy has always been based on certain simple facts, not intelligence judgments. The Iranians have developed an enrichment program with no foreseeable civilian use. The appropriate course now is to continue the sanctions and to finalize a third UN resolution. Neil Crompton is a political counselor at the British embassy in Washington who served until recently as Iran coordinator and head of the Iraq Policy Unit at the British Foreign Office. Dr. Hans-Peter Hinrichsen is first secretary for political affairs at the German embassy. Nicholas Roche is a counselor at the French embassy.

2007-12-28 01:00:00

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