Iran’s phantom nukes

Future of Freedom Foundation
by Sheldon Richman


The latest assessment of Iran’s nuclear ambitions is a stunning development. Two years ago the Bush administration touted intelligence alleged to show that Iran was developing such weapons. Only several weeks ago Bush warned that if Iran were not stopped, World War III would follow. This week he said he did not know about the new National Intelligence Estimate when he made that chilling statement, although the estimate had already been written. Administration spokesmen say Bush was aware there was new information about Iran’s activity but didn’t ask for details. Whether that is true or false, it is typical of this government...

The boy who cried WMD

In These Times
by Sanhita SinhaRoy


There goes the Axis of Evil. On Dec. 3, news broke that 16 U.S. intelligence agencies had concluded that Iran had halted its nuclear arms efforts in 2003. You would think the report — known as the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) — would give Bush pause in his push for another war. You’d be wrong. At a Dec. 4 White House press conference, Bush said, ‘Iran is dangerous, and the NIE doesn’t do anything to change my opinion about the danger Iran poses to the world. Quite the contrary.’ For years the Bush administration and its neoconservative buddies have been ratcheting the rhetoric against Iran...

The GOP’s Iran option is off the table

by Juan Cole


For Republicans, the beauty of Iran as a campaign issue was that it involved a regime whose minions had regularly chanted ‘death to America’ for decades, a regime that is actively hostile to the U.S. ally Israel, that had at least at some point been involved in international terrorism, and that — above all — was suspected of aggressively pursuing a nuclear weapons program. Americans had despised the Shiite clerical regime ever since Khomeini’s regime took U.S. embassy personnel hostage, and ayatollahs with nukes was a national nightmare. Indeed, the ongoing threat of a nuclear-armed Iran had the potential for bolstering those Americans motivated by issues of national security, thereby rescuing the politically sinking Republicans. Americans are not now going to fall in love with Iran, and suspicions may linger about Tehran’s civilian nuclear energy research program. But voters are unlikely to take very seriously the idea that a poor, weak country of 70 million — one lacking much of an air force and with no weapons of mass destruction — is the most important problem that the United States faces. And if Iran is not the most important problem, then surely healthcare, the economy and getting out of Iraq are...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


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