Pressure on the Obama administration to consider military options against Iran were eased as the most recent US intelligence reports indicate that Iranian leaders have no definite plan on building nuclear weapons.
Reuters reports that a number of US officials believe deadly attempts against the lives of Iranian nuclear scientists and the computer virus found in Iran’s newly launched Bushehr Nuclear Plant have caused at least a two year lag in Iran’s nuclear program.
Iranian authorities confirmed last August that the Stuxnet Computer virus had infected the industrial computer systems at Bushehr Plant but denied that it had caused any significant damage.
The fatal attacks against the lives of Iranian scientists include the assassination of Massoud Ali-Mohammadi in December of 2009 and of Majid Shariyari on November 29 in Tehran. Fereydoon Abbasi another Iranian scientist survived an assassination attempt in November.
Iranian Intelligence Minister announced last week that his ministry has arrested ten individuals in connection with the terrorist attack on Massoud Ali-Mohammadi and maintained that the detained individuals were linked to Israel’s Mossad.
Accordign to Reuters, outgoing director of Mossad, Meir Dagan says "because of measures that have been deployed against them," Iranians would not be able to make a nuclear bomb for another four year.
Moshe Yalon, Israeli minister of strategic affairs has also said on Radio Israel that Iran is at least three years away from building an atomic bomb.
Despite Israel’s continued allegations of Iranian intentions toward building a nuclear bomb, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei has repeatedly condemned the use of atomic weapons describing them as “harram” (forbidden by Islamic law).
Reuters reports that General Michael Hayden, former CIA chief has said that in terms of its policy towars Iran, the US has more time than they had previously thought.
He added that he now believes that the “key decision point” on whether to engage in military options against Iran can be postponed until after the next US presidential elections.
The US, Britain, Germany, France, Russia and China will meet with Iran next week in Istanbul for the fourth round of nuclear talks. The G5+1 will seek guarantees that Iran will not pursue production of nuclear weapons, whilst Iran insists that all its nuclear efforts are wholly peaceful and geared toward power production.
Islamic Republic representatives met for the third round of talks with the G5+1 delegates in early December in Geneva.