Rafael L. Bardaji, who directs one of the best think tanks in Europe, writes:
By considering Iran’s nuclear programme to have been halted, the NIE has called an end to a great number of things. First and foremost is George W. Bush’s policy of suffocating the Teheran regime by exercising greater political pressure and imposing stricter sanctions. ….
Second, the NIE has stripped the White House of its main reason for pushing for further sanctions on the UN Security Council. If securing these sanctions was always going to be a tricky matter, now the balance has clearly swung in favour of those who advocate a more conciliatory approach to Teheran. Very soon the Russians will authorise the delivery of fissionable material for the Busher reactor and nobody will be able to firmly oppose them.
Third, the NIE has blown away the incipient intra-European consensus regarding policy towards Iran. Whilst London and Paris had remained united in their belief that it was necessary to continue punishing the Ayatollah regime in economic, financial and technological terms, Germany, the European country that has the strongest trade links with the Islamic Republic, has never been that enthusiastic about imposing further sanctions.