On Iran, Intelligence Questions Loom

With diplomats at the United Nations debating how to curtail Iran's nuclear program, new questions are being raised about the quality of U.S. intelligence — and whether it is any better than the pre-war data on Iraq.

Hardliners suggest privately that perhaps the threat from Iran is more imminent than U.S. spy agencies have indicated. But unlike with Iraq, administration officials have laid out no hard evidence for their assertions.

Intelligence officials insist they have learned from the Iraq debacle, and improved their methods of collection and analysis.

But some experts wonder whether policy-makers have changed the way they use and promote intelligence.

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