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US intel on Iran nuclear threat seen as inadequate

Written by: Staff
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WASHINGTON, Apr 23 (Reuters) The United States doesn't have enough good intelligence to know whether or not Iran will be capable of producing nuclear weapons in the near future, top congressional intelligence committee members said today.

Iran said earlier today it would not abandon its work on nuclear enrichment, which the United Nations has demanded it halt, and was prepared to face sanctions from abroad.

Asked on Fox News Sunday when Iran might be capable of producing nuclear weapons, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Peter Hoekstra, a Michigan Republican,said: ''I'd say we really don't know.

''We're getting lots of mixed messages,'' Hoekstra said.

''We've got a long way to go in rebuilding our intelligence community. .... We don't have all of the information we would like to have.

Jane Harman of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, concurred. ''Our intelligence is thin,'' she told Fox News. ''I don't think we have enough sources, I don't think our analysis is sharp enough.'' Washington has said it wants a diplomatic resolution over Iran's nuclear ambitions but has not ruled out military action, a step its allies, as well as Russia and China, oppose.

''This is not a time to be saber-rattling in our government,'' said Harmon. ''Just the fact that the Iranian government is making a lot of noise doesn't prove their capabilities.

REUTERS SRS BST1958

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