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There is no evidence Iran has weaponised nuclear program, says CIA chief

CIA Director, William Burns, testifies during a House Intelligence Committee hearing about worldwide threats, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, 15 April 2021. [AL DRAGO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]
CIA Director, William Burns, testifies during a House Intelligence Committee hearing about worldwide threats, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, 15 April 2021. [AL DRAGO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

The US does not have any evidence that Iran has made a decision to weaponise its nuclear programme, head of the CIA William Burns told the Wall Street Journal's annual CEO Council meeting on Monday.

The US spy agency "doesn't see any evidence that Iran's Supreme Leader [Ali Khamenei] has made a decision to move to weaponise," said Burns adding his voice to one of the major global issues of recent weeks.

World leaders have been trying desperately to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+ countries: the US, Britain, China, Russia, France and Germany. The seventh round of talks in Vienna ended on Friday with very little to suggest that the main parties will agree to reviving the deal. The talks are however slated to resume today, according to Iranian media reports.

Burns echoed the pessimism of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken over the last round of negotiations saying that "the Iranians have not been taking the negotiation seriously at this point." He added that "we'll see soon enough about how serious they are."

Burns' remark comes as Israel seeks to persuade the US to adopt a military-first option with Iran. Defence Minister Benny Gantz and Mossad chief David Barnea are expected to meet senior officials in the White House to make the case for a military-first agenda against Iran, Israel's three main TV news broadcasts reported over the weekend.

Sources in Israel have also reported that Mossad is preparing to strike at the heart of Iran's nuclear programme. Last week the Israeli spy agency sent a chilling message that it would do whatever it takes to stop Iran developing nuclear weapons, in remarks which suggested that the occupation state will carry out assassinations.

Iran's supreme leader have consistently stressed that the Islamic Republic is not seeking to develop nuclear weapons and its nuclear programme is purely intended for civilian purposes, a view that is backed up by the CIA's latest remarks.

READ: Iran slams US for imposing new sanctions

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