Carney declined to comment on the news report, but some American officials bristled at what they saw as a naked Israeli effort to pressure Washington into taking a more hawkish line.
If the Haaretz report is correct, the new NIE would be yet another shift in American intelligence agencies' assessment of just what Tehran is doing. A 2007 NIE said Iran had halted its military nuclear program in 2003 and that there was no clear evidence that those efforts had resumed. Some American officials speculate that Iran wants the ability to build a nuclear weapon, not necessarily to actually acquire an atomic arsenal.
While Republicans have accused Obama of shortchanging the security of Israel—thought to be the region's only, and undeclared, nuclear power—they have also loudly complained about national security disclosures regarding an unprecedented cyberwar effort by the Obama administration to sabotage Iran's atomic program.