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Tuesday, December 04, 2007


The Iranian nuclear program

One of the successes of the new NIE is that virtually everyone in the "mainstream" (pundits, candidates, corporate media) now accepts as simple fact that Iran had a nuclear weapons program which it abandoned in 2003. Actually that's wrong on two counts. First, although I don't have access to the 2005 NIE, here's what the 2007 NIE says about the 2005 conclusion:
Assess with high confidence that Iran currently is determined to develop nuclear weapons despite its international obligations and international pressure.
If that's all the 2005 report said, then claims that it said that Iran "had" a "nuclear weapons program" are simply wrong; being "determined to develop nuclear weapons," even if it were true, is not the same as "having a nuclear weapons program."

And second, of course, is that any "conclusion" with "high confidence" that Iraq had a nuclear weapons program is simply unsupported by the facts. Here's what FAIR wrote about the subject in 2005. Here's just one statement they quote from a Washington Post article about the NIE:

The new National Intelligence Estimate includes what the intelligence community views as credible indicators that Iran’s military is conducting clandestine work. But the sources said there is no information linking those projects directly to a nuclear weapons program.
But none of this will stand in the way of what you're hearing today. It is now, as I said, "conventional wisdumb" that Iran had a nuclear weapons program. The truth is otherwise.


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