2007 Iran National Intelligence Estimate
In December 2007 the United States National Intelligence Estimate (that represents the consensus view of all 16 American spy agencies) judged with "high confidence” that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003, with "moderate confidence" that the program remains frozen, and with "moderate-to-high confidence" that Iran is "keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons." The new estimate says that the enrichment program could still provide Iran with enough raw material to produce a nuclear weapon sometime by the middle of next decade but that intelligence agencies “do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons” at some future date. Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, said he hoped the administration would “appropriately adjust its rhetoric and policy”. The conclusion that Iran had a nuclear weapons program in 2003 was reportedly mainly based on the contents of a laptop computer that was allegedly stolen from Iran and provided to US intelligence agencies by dissidents. The Russians dismissed this conclusion, stating that they had not seen evidence that Iran had ever pursued a nuclear weapons program.
The 2007 NIE report, allegedly based on new evidence, differed from the previous 2005 NIE conclusion which asserted that Iran had an active and on-going nuclear weapons program in 2005. According to a senior administration official, in a January 2008 conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Israeli and other foreign officials asked President Bush to explain the 2007 NIE. Bush "told the Israelis that he can't control what the intelligence community says, but that (the NIE's) conclusions don't reflect his own views". After Bush seemed to distance himself from the report, the White House later said Bush endorses the "full scope" of the US intelligence findings on Iran.