Iran steps up nuclear warhead work, report

Iran has stepped up work to develop a nuclear warhead, Israeli newspapers said on Sunday, citing officials in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and leaked U.S. intelligence.

The front-page reports in the liberal Haaretz, a frequent Netanyahu critic, and in the conservative, pro-government Israel Hayom could intensify Israeli debate about whether to go to war against Iran – and soon – over its disputed atomic projects.

Doing so would defy appeals by U.S. President Barack Obama, seeking re-election in November, to allow more time for international diplomacy. Tehran says its nuclear ambitions are peaceful and has threatened wide-ranging reprisals if attacked.

Citing an unnamed senior Israeli official, Haaretz said a new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) compiled by the Obama administration included a “last-minute update” about significant Iranian progress in the development of a nuclear warhead “far beyond the scope known” to U.N. inspectors.

Iran has stepped up work to develop a nuclear warhead, Israeli newspapers said on Sunday, citing officials in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and leaked U.S. intelligence.

The front-page reports in the liberal Haaretz, a frequent Netanyahu critic, and in the conservative, pro-government Israel Hayom could intensify Israeli debate about whether to go to war against Iran – and soon – over its disputed atomic projects.

Doing so would defy appeals by U.S. President Barack Obama, seeking re-election in November, to allow more time for international diplomacy. Tehran says its nuclear ambitions are peaceful and has threatened wide-ranging reprisals if attacked.

Citing an unnamed senior Israeli official, Haaretz said a new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) compiled by the Obama administration included a “last-minute update” about significant Iranian progress in the development of a nuclear warhead “far beyond the scope known” to U.N. inspectors.

Reuters