Bush Drops Standard on Iran

By: Lama Hasan, ABC News
By: Lama Hasan, ABC News

Iran is making the most of that U.S. intelligence report that now says Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons.

That reverses a conclusion the intelligence community reached two years ago.

It also hands President Bush a diplomatic embarrassment and the Tehran regime a propaganda coup.

It didn't take long for Iran's president to react.

Speaking to the nation, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad welcomed the new Intelligence report, calling it a great victory for his country.

But that is not how the Bush administration sees it. The threat from Iran remains and it is real.

''Iranian regime remains a problematic and dangerous regime, and that the international community must continue to unite around the UN Security Council resolutions that it has passed, that Iran needs to stop enriching and re-processing activities," said Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State.

President Ahmadinejad said the report had been a fatal blow to those who had filled the world with threats, stress and anxiety. There were similar sentiments on the streets of Tehran.

" The international community has realized the peaceful nature of Iran's activities and know Bush is a liar," said one man in Tehran.

Two years ago analysts claimed there was "high confidence that Iran currently is determined to develop nuclear weapons."

Now this new report says "we judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program."

Iran has always maintained that its nuclear enrichment program is for civilian purposes and it will continue with it.

The question is will the international community now ease up on Iran?

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