Mark Tran and agencies
Tuesday December 4, 2007
"Israel today publicly challenged the US intelligence consensus that Iran had stopped its nuclear weapons programme, even as Tehran welcomed the US findings.
Iran claimed its peaceful nuclear intentions were clear after a UN national intelligence estimate (NIE) concluded that Tehran had stopped its nuclear military programme in 2003.
The Iranian foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, said he welcomed the US move to "correct" its previous assertions......
Israel, however, contradicted the NIE findings. Its defence minister, Ehud Barak, claimed that Iran had restarted its military nuclear programme.
"It's apparently true that in 2003 Iran stopped pursuing its military nuclear programme for a time. But in our opinion, since then it has apparently continued that programme," Barak told army radio.
Britain, which has backed the US campaign for sanctions against Iran, also said the risk remained of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons despite the US intelligence report.
The report, Downing Street said, "shows the intent is there and the risk of Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon remains a very serious issue"......."