US intel chief consults with Israeli counterparts

Thursday, June 05, 2008 |  staff writer

The US Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell was in Israel this week, in a rare visit, to consult with heads of the Israeli intelligence community, meetings that come of the heels of reports that President George W. Bush is considering military action against Iran.

McConnell was to meet with Israel’s head of Military Intelligence Amos Yadlin, Chief of General Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

After McConnell’s office published the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report late last year, claiming that Iran had suspended its nuclear weapons program in 2003, Israeli delegations from the Mossad and Military Intelligence traveled to the US several times to present Israeli estimates concerning Iran's nuclear capability.

Defense officials said that McConnell's visit to Israel was part of the ongoing intelligence dialogue between the two countries. Military Intelligence recently revealed that it believes Iran will master centrifuge technology by the end of the year, meaning it could have a nuclear weapon.

Barak told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Israel should do what it could to ensure that the Iranians did not obtain nuclear power.

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