Thursday, May 6, 2010

Iran acquisition of nuclear weapons imminent!!!

At Muhammad Sahimi has looked at the warnings that Iran was about to acquire nuclear weapons in the next few years - since 1984. (h/t Eric Martin)

... in April 1984, Jane’s Defense Weekly reported that West German intelligence believed that Iran could have a nuclear bomb within two years. Twenty-six years later, that bomb has not been produced.

On June 27, 1984, the late Sen. Alan Cranston was quoted by The Age, a broadsheet daily newspaper published in Melbourne, Australia, claiming that Iran was seven years away from being able to build its own nuclear weapon. ...

On April 12, 1987, David Segal published a piece in the Washington Post titled “Atomic Ayatollahs: Just What the Mideast Needs – an Iranian Bomb,” sounding the alarm about Iran’s forthcoming nuclear weapon.


In late 1991, in congressional reports and CIA assessments, the first Bush administration estimated that there was a “high degree of certainty that the government of Iran has acquired all or virtually all of the components required for the construction of two to three nuclear weapons.” In 1992, the CIA changed its mind and predicted that Iran would have nuclear arms by 2000, then pushed that back to 2003.

A February 1992 report by the House of Representatives suggested that Iran would have two or three operational nuclear weapons by February-April 1992.

And, of course, David Albright, the all-world nuclear expert, also weighed in in March 1992. In an article written with Mark Hibbs in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist, he claimed that the spotlight had shifted to Iran and its nuclear program.

I almost forgot to mention the sensational reports in Europe in May 1992 by several right-wing European newspapers that Iran already had two nuclear bombs. “Iran has obtained at least two nuclear warheads out of a batch officially listed as ‘missing’ from the newly independent republic of Kazakhstan, formerly part of the Soviet Union. Two of the nuclear weapons were smuggled across the border from Kazakhstan into Iran last year [1991] and are now under the control of Reza Amrollahi, the head of the Iranian Organization for Atomic Energy.” Iran and Kazakhstan do not have common borders, and Amrollahi, who was privy to such an important state secret, was sacked by former president Mohammad Khatami in 1997 and has been living a quiet life in Tehran ever since as a professor.

Things got more interesting in early March 1992 when The Arms Control Reporter reported that by December 1991 Iran had four (not two) nuclear weapons, which it had obtained from the former Soviet Union, including a nuclear artillery shell, two nuclear warheads that could be launched on Scud missiles, and one nuclear weapon that could be delivered by a MiG-27 aircraft.

...On Jan. 23, 1993, Charles Radin of the Boston Globe quoted Gad Yaacobi, then Israel’s envoy to the United Nations, claiming that Iran was devoting $800 million per year to the development of nuclear weapons.

A month later on Feb. 24, new CIA Director James Woolsey (who would later play a leading role in the propaganda for invading Iraq) said that the U.S. was concerned about Iran’s nuclear potential, even though “Iran is still eight to ten years away from being able to produce its own nuclear weapon.”

Then, on March 21, 1993, U.S. News and World Report reported that North Korea and Iran had an agreement to develop nuclear weapons. On April 8, Douglas Jehl of the New York Times reported that the Clinton administration claimed that Iran had paid North Korea $600 million for further development of the Nodong missile to deliver nuclear or chemical warheads.

... Foreign Report claimed on April 22, 1993, that North Korea was supplying Iran with nuclear know-how and enriched uranium. In May 1993, it was reported that U.S. intelligence analysts had alleged that Iran had sought weapons-related nuclear equipment from Ukraine. It did not, of course, matter that both nations denied the allegations.

On June 25, 1993, the AFP reported that the Swiss were major suppliers for Iran’s nuclear weapons program. After Maariv in Israel repeated that claim, even Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin denied it, saying, “They do not know what they are talking about.” But the fabrication factory was producing nonstop. On Sept. 2, 1993, the Intelligence Newsletter reported that the French firm CKD was delivering nuclear materials to Iran. On Oct. 25, 1993, U.S. News and World Report used that great source of expertise for the mainstream media – unidentified intelligence sources – to claim that scientists working in the Soviet Union’s nuclear program in Kazakhstan sold weapons-grade uranium to Iran. And on Dec. 13, 1993, Theresa Hitchens and Brendan McNally of Defense News reported that the CIA “believes that Iran could have nuclear weapons within eight to 10 years.”


In January 1995, John Holum, the director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, testified before the Congress that “Iran could have the bomb by 2003.” Defense Secretary William Perry said that “Iran may be less than five years from building an atomic bomb.” ... in The Nonproliferation Review (Vol. 2, 1995), Greg Gerardi reported, “Current U.S. and Israeli intelligence sources estimate Iran will have nuclear weapons in a 5-10 year time frame.” Note how the time frame has become so mobile! David Albright weighed in again with an article titled “An Iranian Bomb?” in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 51 (March-August 1995).

... On April 29, 1996, Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres said that he believed that “in four years, Iran may reach nuclear weapons.”

In 1997 Israel predicted a new date for Iran having a nuclear bomb: 2005

On Oct. 21, 1998, Gen. Anthony Zinni, head of U.S. Central Command, said Iran “could have the capacity to deliver nuclear weapons within five years.” ... Steve Rodan claimed on April 9, 1998, in that model of truthfulness, the Jerusalem Post, “Documents obtained by the Jerusalem Post show Iran has four nuclear bombs.”

A CIA assessment of Iran’s nuclear capabilities publicized on Jan. 17, 2000, said that the Agency could not rule out the possibility that Iran possessed nuclear weapons. The assessment was based on the CIA’s admission that it could not monitor Iran’s nuclear activities with any precision.

Then the George W. Bush administration came to power, and Iran became an even more “imminent” threat. In the heyday of the warmongers after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Pentagon delivered a classified version of the congressionally mandated Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) on Dec. 31, 2001. It listed Iran among the countries that “could be involved in immediate, potential, or unexpected contingencies.”

Demonizing Iran became so fashionable during the Bush years that members of Congress began lying brazenly. A report by Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.), then chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, issued on Aug. 23, 2006, stated, “Iran has conducted a clandestine uranium enrichment program for nearly two decades in violation of its IAEA safeguards agreement, and despite its claim to the contrary, Iran is seeking nuclear weapons.” It also claimed that “Iran is currently enriching uranium to weapons grade using a 164-machine centrifuge cascade at this facility in Natanz” and “spent fuel from the LWR [light water reactor] that Russia is building for Iran in the city of Bushehr can produce enough weapons-grade plutonium for 30 weapons per year if the fuel rods were diverted and reprocessed.” As I explained elsewhere, all the allegations were lies. They provoked the IAEA to take the unusual step of sending an angry letter to Hoekstra. The letter took “strong exception to the incorrect and misleading assertion” that the IAEA had removed a senior safeguards inspector for “allegedly raising concerns about Iranian deception,” and it branded as “outrageous and dishonest” the report’s suggestion that he was removed for not adhering “to an unstated IAEA policy barring IAEA officials from telling the truth” about Iran.


In a more recent dire prediction, Amos Harel of Ha’aretz reported on July 11, 2007 that “Iran will cross the ‘technological threshold’ enabling it to independently manufacture nuclear weapons within six months to a year and attain nuclear capability as early as mid-2009, according to Israel’s Military Intelligence.”

Right after the Obama administration took over, Greg Miller of the Los Angeles Times reported on Feb. 12, 2009, that the Obama administration had made it clear that it believed there was no question that Tehran was seeking the bomb.

And just the other day, Hillary Clinton claimed that Iran has violated the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Apparently, the secretary of state does not know that there is a vast difference – technically and legally – between violating the NPT and being in non-compliance with some provisions of the Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA. An NPT violation happens when a member state develops a nuclear bomb, helps another state to do so, or transfers its nuclear technology to a non-member state.

Clinton should hire better lawyers who are loyal to the true national interests of the United States, not rely on pro-Israel “experts” who will settle for nothing short of military attacks on Iran.

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