The Brits and Israel, both more accomplished at intelligence gathering than the United States, think that Iran, with the co-operation of the CIA, has hoodwinked Uncle Sam.
The Brits begin with the assumption that the CIA, historically full of dunderheads, has a political reason for thinking that Iran ditched its nuclear weapons program in 2003:
“A senior British official delivered a withering assessment of US intelligence-gathering abilities in the Middle East and revealed that British spies shared the concerns of Israeli defense chiefs that Iran was still pursuing nuclear weapons.
“The source said British analysts believed that Iranian nuclear staff, knowing their phones were tapped, deliberately gave misinformation.” We are skeptical. We want to know what the basis of it is, where did it come from? Was it on the basis of the defector? Was it on the basis of the intercept material? They say things on the phone because they know we are up on the phones. They say black is white. They will say anything to throw us off.
"It's not as if the American intelligence agencies are regarded as brilliant performers in that region. They got badly burned over Iraq."
“A US intelligence source has revealed that some American spies share the concerns of the British and the Israelis. "Many middle- ranking CIA veterans believe Iran is still committed to producing nuclear weapons and are concerned that the agency lost a number of its best sources in Iran in 2004," the official said.
“The Foreign Office is studying a new text of a third United Nations Security Council resolution that would impose tough travel bans on regime figures and penalize banks that do business with Iran.”
Why don’t we just mothball the CIA; or, better still, deprive it of its Orwellian character and rename it The Central Cover My Ass Agency?