Monday, August 28, 2006

US Congress report on Iran

Juan Cole analyses the recent Republican Congressional report on Iran's supposed nuclear weapons program, and finds a repeat of the distortions and lies of Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction" propoganda.

Somebody should tell President Bush the story of the Boy Who Cried Wolf.

Cole's blog has more details, but a number of points stand out:

  • The Republicans have a lot of gall for complaining about the lack of intelligence about Iran's nuclear programme: it was Republican mastermind Karl Rove who leaked the information that Valerie Plame was working as an undercover CIA operative in Iran, attempting to find out more about their nuclear programme. This leak not only destroyed her usefulness, but lead directly to the deaths or arrests of Iranians who had been giving her information. Needless to say, Rove and his gang, who put short-term political revenge ahead of national security, have not been punished in the slightest.

  • The report selectively quotes from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) only when they are critical of Iran, and ignores them when they point out that Iran has cooperated with them and given them access to sensitive facilities when asked. Iran is acting like it has nothing to hide.

  • And then there is the misreprepresentation of Iran's programme as being able to enrich uranium to "weapons grade". That is untrue: Iran has publicly admitted to having a cascade of 180 centrifuges, and can enrich uranium to 3.5%, far short of the 80% or more needed even for an inefficient bomb. With existing technology, it takes a cascade of about 16 thousand centrifuges to get to 80% enriched uranium. Iran, according to all the evidence, is short by 15,820.

Cole has more detail -- it makes sobering reading to realise that, having successfully fooled some of the people over Iraq, the neo-cons are trying it again over Iran.

The difference this time is that Iran, unlike Iraq, actually has an army capable of fighting back against anything short of nuclear weapons, and a highly successful, battle-hardened ally in Lebanon. If the Bush armchair warriors decide that, having got one leg caught in the Iraq quagmire, that this is a good time to tackle Iran as well, there will be a lot of dead Americans and Israelis.

No comments: