Iran has worked on developing an atomic bomb design and may still be conducting research relevant for such weapons, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said in a report on military dimensions to Tehran's nuclear programme.
Following are some reactions from experts, economists and analysts:
DAVID ALBRIGHT, U.S.-BASED INSTITUTE FOR SCIENCE AND
I think the facts lay out a pretty overwhelming case that this was a pretty sophisticated nuclear weapons effort aimed at miniaturising a warhead for a ballistic missile.
If you want to make a judgement, it's difficult. They could have said something like -- they can make a crude weapon now but they do not appear able to make a reliable warhead for the Shahab 3 missile. But there's not enough in here to make that judgement.
It's compelling reading and the capability is still there. The long pole in the tent remains highly-enriched uranium, and they are not there yet.
Iran recognised correctly in 2003 that their biggest problem they face is getting the wherewithal to make enough highly-enriched uranium for a bomb and figure out a way to do it where they could get away with it.
MARK WAGGONER, PRESIDENT of EXCEL FUTURES in BEND, OREGON: The report itself did not have a major impact on oil prices today. However, what the market is really worried about are reports that Israel intends to strike Iranian nuclear facilities. That may be one reason oil prices have continued to move up despite the serious problems in the euro zone. People are realizing there is geopolitical risk involved here.
UDI SEGAL, DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT FOR ISRAEL'S CHANNEL TWO
The prime minister has instructed the ministers to keep mum...He is letting the game move over to the international community. Israel is saying, in essence, 'We told you so. Netanyahu has been warning of this since '96.
They are rolling the ball to the world, so it will pass crippling sanctions, in hope this will work. De facto, it defers talk of military option for at least a few months.
In Israel there is hope that, when they next talk about it, they won't talk about an Israeli attack on Iran, which is a terrible thing for Israel, unless there is no choice and it's the last resort, but rather, will talk about an attack by a coalition led by the United States and not by us.
SAMI AL-ASKARI, MEMBER OF THE IRAQI PARLIAMENT'S FOREIGN
I think this is a part of the political pressure that the U.S. and the western countries are trying to put on Iran to force it to give up its support for Syria.
Iran won't keep silent. Iran could set the region on fire. Also, the whole area is unstable and the price of a barrel of oil is over 100 dollars. Any military action that targets Iran will raise the oil price to 200 dollars.
With the international economic situation and the U.S. withdrawal (from Iraq), neither the U.S. nor the international community is ready to attack Iran or create a war in the region, and the Iranians know that.
But people will start asking why all this pressure on Iran? And why does the international community keep silent when things come to Israel? What is the standard of accountability for this country, and why this double standard?
SHAIKH SALMAN, DIRECTOR OF BROOKINGS DOHA CENTRE:
I certainly think that it's going to raise the temperature regarding the pressure to put much deeper and binding sanctions on the Iranians particularly the oil and gas industry, which is going to bring the Chinese into play in particular as well as the Russians and test the ability of the United States and other Western powers supported, at least quietly by Arab states to impose crippling sanctions on Iran.
We are likely to see greater urgency in the development of some Gulf states' own nuclear programmes and missile defence capabilities. With this, the non-proliferation regime in the Gulf/ Middle East region (and more generally) will come under renewed strain of breaking down.
The report will strengthen the 'hawks' within and between Gulf states who have taken a hard-line generally on Iran and on its nuclear intentions specifically.
(Reporting by Sylvia Westall in Vienna, Gene Ramos in New York; Dan Williams in Jerusalem and Suadad al-Salhy in Baghdad; Wditing by Angus MacSwan)