CIA director Hayden confirms “collaboration” which pre-empted Syria’s nuclear weapons plan
CIA director Michael Hayden, speaking in Los Angeles Tuesday, said the destruction of the Syrian reactor – as a result of intelligence collaboration with a “foreign partner” who first identified the facility’s purpose – spoiled a project “that could have provided Syria with plutonium for nuclear weapons.
Hayden stressed that Al Qaeda was the greatest security threat to the US, quoting Osama bin Laden as saying repeatedly that he considers acquisition of nuclear weapons a religious duty and he intends to attack America “in ways that inflict maximum death and destruction.”
He also pointed to North Korea and Iran as threats. Thursday, North Korea confirmed that preparations were afoot to re-activate its Yongbyon nuclear reactor and halt the dismantlement of its nuclear installations. Iran, said the CIA chief, has the scientific, technical and industrial capacity to produce nuclear weapons.
debkafile notes: This comment contradicts the US intelligence assessment last year that Iran had discontinued its military nuclear program in 2003.
An IAEA report released Monday, Sept. 15, said Iran continues to enrich uranium in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.
Tuesday, diplomats said that the UN watchdog had intelligence showing Iran had tried to refit a long-distance Shehab missile to carry a nuclear payload. Photos and documents were placed before a closed meeting of the 35-nation board of the International Atomic Energy Agency.