The Spy War Over Iran

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When America's spy agencies issued a National Intelligence Estimate two weeks ago stating that Iran shuttered its nuclear weapons program in 2003, it was a blockbuster like few can recall.

The sigh of relief in Washington and around the world was audible. Only recently, President Bush had said a nuclear Iran might ignite "World War III."

But behind the scenes, among intelligence and foreign policy experts, the reaction is more complicated. No one quite knows what to believe, or what the effect on U.S. policy should be.

This hour, On Point: Iran and the politics of intelligence.
-James Hattori


Tim Weiner, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New York Times, and author of "Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA."

Flynt Leverett, former senior director for Middle East Affairs at the National Security Council under President George W. Bush, and analyst at the State Department and CIA. He is now director of the Geopolitics of Energy Initiative at the New America Foundation and author of "Inheriting Syria: Bashar's Trial by Fire."

Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former CIA Middle East specialist, is resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and author of "The Islamic Paradox: Shiite Clerics, Sunni Fundamentalists, and the Coming of Arab Democracy."

This program aired on December 17, 2007.


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