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Iran closer to attaining nuclear weapon than previously thought, new intelligence reveals

Western diplomat who asked not to be named says U.S, Britain, France, Germany and Israel agree on that assessment

by Barak Ravid, Haaretz

August 6, 2012 | 4:54 pm

Iranian workers stand in front of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, about 1,200 km (746 miles) south of Tehran on Oct. 26, 2010. Photo by REUTERS/Mehr News Agency/Majid Asgaripour

Iranian workers stand in front of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, about 1,200 km (746 miles) south of Tehran on Oct. 26, 2010. Photo by REUTERS/Mehr News Agency/Majid Asgaripour

New intelligence information obtained by Israel and four Western countries indicates that Iran has made greater progress on developing nuclear weapons than the West had previously realized, according to Western diplomats and Israeli officials who are closely involved in efforts to prevent Iran from building a nuclear bomb.

A Western diplomat who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to discuss intelligence information said the United States, Britain, France, Germany and Israel agree on that assessment.

According to the source, this assessment began to take shape in February, when Iran refused to allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency to visit the base at Parchin, where it is believed Iran is carrying out part of the research and development of its military nuclear program. Visits of IAEA inspectors in Iran, and especially revelations of information the Iranians had been trying to hide, intensified suspicions that Tehran was developing nuclear weapons at a faster pace than it had previously seemed.

Read more at haaretz.com.

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