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CIA Director Defends US Report on Iraqi Nuclear Plans

CIA director George Tenet has defended a U.S. intelligence report warning of Iraq's ambitions to develop nuclear weapons.

The Washington Post newspaper Sunday printed a written statement from Mr. Tenet, saying he stands by the report.

Last month, U.S. officials released a declassified version of the National Intelligence Estimate from October 2002. The report said Saddam Hussein's Iraq could develop a nuclear weapon within a decade, if left unchecked.

U.S. officials have said concerns about Iraq's nuclear program was a key reason for the war this year.

In Sunday's statement, Mr. Tenet said the report was based on many years of work and shows a history of clear and consistent judgments.

Critics have alleged that the White House exaggerated the threat posed by Iraq as a pretext for the war that toppled Saddam. But Mr. Tenet said some of the critics are misinformed, or have misrepresented information.