With apologies for waxing political, I offer this for your consideration.
The Reuters news service today published a story eerily reminiscent of the days leading up to the invasion of Iraq by the US. From an article with the plain title, “US Report Contradicts Bush on Iran Nuclear Program”:
“A new U.S. intelligence report says Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and it remains on hold, contradicting the Bush administration’s earlier assertion that Tehran was intent on developing a bomb.”
“Tensions have escalated in recent months as Washington has ratcheted up the rhetoric against Tehran, with U.S. President George W. Bush insisting in October that a nuclear-armed Iran could lead to World War Three. But in a finding likely to surprise U.S. friends and foes alike, the latest NIE concluded: “We do not know whether (Iran) currently intends to develop nuclear weapons.”
The Bush response was a typical spin to throw a terrorist light on this good news:
“Today’s National Intelligence Estimate offers some positive news,” Bush’s national security adviser Stephen Hadley said in a statement. “It confirms that we were right to be worried about Iran seeking to develop nuclear weapons. It tells us that we have made progress in trying to ensure that this does not happen,” he said.
“But the intelligence also tells us that the risk of Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon remains a very serious problem.”
Quotes from the National Intelligence Estimate report:
“We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program. We also assess with moderate-to-high confidence that Tehran at a minimum is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons.”
“Tehran’s decision to halt its nuclear weapons program suggests it is less determined to develop nuclear weapons than we have been judging since 2005.”
“Iranian entities are continuing to develop a range of technical capabilities that could be applied to producing nuclear weapons, if a decision is made to do so.”
“We judge with high confidence that Iran will not be technically capable of producing and reprocessing enough plutonium for a weapon before about 2015.”
Personally, I have no idea what the Iranians are planning. If I were them, I would be a bit afraid of the US. We did, after all, invade a neighboring country under what turned out to be (similar)false pretenses. Coincidentally, according to the report, the Iranians stopped their nuclear weapons program the same year. I am thinking that the “international pressures” cited in the report is nothing more than our invasion of Iraq.
The Iranian subject is a hot one in the lead-up to next year’s US general election. For the American people to understand who is blowing smoke and who actually has the fire, we need to make it a habit to go to the source to get the facts. In this case, the source is the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Click the link above. It’s only 9 pages, easily readable, large type, in a downloadable pdf file. Go ahead. Then you can say you read it yourself.
I am Jon, and I think we should all read the report for ourselves.