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Thursday, December 06, 2007


Iran says: "What Left I said"

News you're unlikely to read in the corporate media:
From the beginning Iranian nuclear program had been civilian and Iran honors religious prohibition of nuclear arms, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said on Wednesday.

He welcomed the report on civilian nature of Iranian nuclear program by the US National Intelligence Estimates (NIE), but, at the same time strongly rejected allegations in the report that Iran had weapons program before 2003.

"Iran had never had weapons program to stop it in 2003," he said.

Hosseini said that Iranian nuclear activities had always been in line with Non-Proliferation Treaty and that the International Atomic Energy has verified non-diversion of Iranian nuclear program several times so far.

"The Supreme Leader has already made it clear that Iran respects the religious prohibition of nuclear arms and the international conventions consistent with the nuclear program." Hosseini said.
Just as a point of comparison, here's what liberal Robert Scheer wrote yesterday at CommonDreams, in an article entitled "It Turns Out Ahmadinejad Was the Truthful One":
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who took office as Iran’s president in August of 2005, two years after Iran’s nuclear weapons program ended, has now been vindicated in his claims that Iran has abandoned the weaponization program.
In truth, neither Ahmadinejad nor any other member of the Iranian leadership has ever made any such claim since, as Hosseini makes clear above, "Iran had never had weapons program to stop it in 2003."

Now, you can take the position they're still lying. But at the least, an acknowledgment that the claim that Iran abandoned a nuclear weapons program in 2003 is just that, a claim (by the oft-wrong, oft-mendacious U.S. government), would be nice. An acknowledgment that has been all too quickly forgotten in the rush to embrace the new, more "user-friendly" NIE of 2007.

Incidentally, it's worth noting that much of this "conclusion" (that Iran had a nuclear weapons program) is based on alleged "intercepts." I remind readers of the role that intercepts played in the infamous Colin Powell speech to the United Nations that helped lead to the invasion of Iraq. If you remember listening to those intercepts, they were basically worthless, yet were presented to the world as a "smoking gun." And that's even assuming they were real and not total fabrications of the CIA. I realize spying is a tricky business, and "absolute proof" may not always be available, but relying on U.S. government claims that they have intercepts (which none of us have even heard) which "prove" something is a fool's game.

And, just because I haven't said this in a while, I'm going to say it again, because all of this discussion of the NIE can make us forget one essential point - Iran has the right to defend itself. Iran is being constantly threatened (and attacked economically) by the mightiest country in the world. They say they don't have a nuclear weapons program, and I believe them (and have seen no evidence to suggest otherwise). And they are signatories to the NPT which bars them from developing nuclear weapons. But, should they decide that their national interest requires them to withdraw from the NPT and develop nuclear weapons, they have every right to do so, especially since the nuclear nations have never lived up to their end of the NPT bargain - get rid of your own nuclear weapons, and don't threaten non-nuclear nations with nuclear attack ("all options are on the table").


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