Apparently, the much anticipated NIE on Iran’s nuclear programs is coming out any day now.
Walter Pincus went over to lunch at the Wilson Center, where McConnell dropped that the NIE will be done by the end of the month:
Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell said yesterday that a long-awaited intelligence estimate covering Iran’s nuclear program will be finished by the end of this month, attributing the delay to new information collected in late spring that caused a reconsideration of some elements of the assessment.
“We had more information that inserted some new questions, so the effort has been to sort that out,” McConnell said at a luncheon at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Following a recently announced policy, McConnell said he does not intend to release an unclassified version of the estimate’s key judgments.
Let’s see … late spring 2007? Well, in April 2007 Iran began enriching uranium in what were then eight cascades at the Fuel Enrichment Plant near Natanz. That was, as a result, when we learned the Iranians were underfeeding the cascades and spinning them below the optimal speed. (See my trio of posts on the subject: one, two , and three.)
Will be fascinating to see what the IC makes of all this, although McConnell say he won’t release an unclassified version.
It will leak though. What do you all think? Will the IC have a consensus? If so, will the estimate move forward, to before 2010?