Atomic experts clashed Friday over whether Iraq possesses a nuclear device as Democrats accused the Bush administration of overstating the immediate threat.

"The overwhelming impression that was given by these statements is of an Iraq that is of imminent nuclear danger to us almost immediately," said Sen. John Glenn, D-Ohio. "I think they're overblown."Three nuclear experts debated Iraq's nuclear weapons program during Senate Armed Services Committee hearings that came one week after President Bush raised the nuclear specter in a visit with U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf on Thanksgiving Day.

Bush told the troops Iraq is further along in its nuclear weapons program than previously thought and this past Wednesday, the White House said Bush had received intelligence briefings that led him to conclude Iraq had a nuclear capability "that could come to fruition within months."

Sen. Albert Gore Jr., D-Tenn., said during hearings on Thursday that the administration's pronouncements on Iraq's nuclear potential are "clearly misleading, overstating."