Friday, December 07, 2007

Iran remains a threat

Melanie Phillips dumps on a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report that guesses Iran stopped its attempt to produce nuclear weapons in 2003. Israel doesn't believe the report and others suggest it might reflect a deal done with Iran whereby the US agrees not to bomb it provided Iran stops assistance for terrorism in Iraq. This type of deal leaves Israel out in the cold completely.

Nor does the International Atomic Energy Agency agree completely with the report.

Indeed, the NIE report itself offers only a qualified view: ‘Iran's civilian uranium enrichment program is continuing.’ Such a ‘civilian’ program could be converted speedily and stealthily to military use. As the new NIE notes, ‘Iran has the scientific, technical, and industrial capacity to produce nuclear weapons if it decides to do so.’

Iran is laughing – Mahmoud is declaring a ‘great victory’. It is a propaganda victory that builds on the back of the WMD fiasco and subsequent US problems in Iraq. It is foolish to believe that an agency, which has provided flawed intelligence in the past, has got it right this time.

Moreover, the report's qualifications about Iran’s ability to switch to pursuing a nuclear option should be kept in mind. President Bush and International Atomic Energy Agency director-general Mohamed ElBaradei have been cautious and have urged Iran to clarify its nuclear intentions further. Iran remains a threat.


rabee said...

Iran in 2003 about the time it halted its nuclear weapons program made an offer to the US. It was very reasonable offer that was rejected by the racists and nut cases running the Bush administration at the time.

click here for example

Israelis seem to have difficulty living in a world that doesn't pose them an existential threat. So they're winging because,as it happens, it turns out that the Middle East is safer for them than it has ever been.

hc said...

Its an interesting link Rabee. But the notion that Iran is pursuing a nuclear option to force the US to negotiate with it sounds far-fetched. Certainly a dangerous strategy.

via collins said...

Harry, I'd suggest that consistently twisting, or worse, hiding pertinent intelligence, to back a personal vendetta is also a dangerous game.

Of course the Iranians are laughing. What's not to laugh at? Bush's credibility bottomed out a long time ago, and that's dangerous for all of us.

rabee said...


It's even better than that. They stooped all nuclear weapons experiments in 2003 hoping to negotiate with the US.

The US rebuffed them; yet the Iranians remain hopeful. So nevertheless Iran has not restarted its weapons program.

derrida derider said...

"This type of deal leaves Israel out in the cold completetely."

WTF? Why *should* Israel be considered in any deal betwen Iran and the US? Harry, surely by making such comments you're conceding ground to those who say US Middle-East policy is too much influenced by what is in Israel's, rather than the US', interest.

And BTW what rabee said is true - 50 years of a state of siege has warped the besieged just as much as the besiegers. They no longer want it to end because it is what defines them.

Anonymous said...

rabee -- saw somebody in the cafeteria at my uni who looked just like Harry but obviously wasn't. Is there a clone out there?