Iran: Five Minutes to Zero Hour
Tehran in the crosshairs
(AntiWar.com) -- by Justin Raimondo --
If you wade through the International Atomic Energy Agency’s much-awaited report [.pdf] on Iran’s alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons technology – a fate I wouldn’t wish on anyone – what you’ll find is a studious ambiguity. “May,” “might,” and “could” are words that modify practically every assertion of Iranian perfidy:
“The information indicates that prior to the end of 2003 the above activities took place under a structured program. There are also indications that some activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device continued after 2003, and that some may still be ongoing.”
Or – since “indications” are not evidence – maybe not.
“The Agency has information from a Member State that Iran has undertaken work to manufacture small capsules suitable for use as containers of a component containing nuclear material. The Agency was also informed by a different Member State that Iran may also have experimented with such components in order to assess their performance in generating neutrons. Such components, if placed in the center of a nuclear core of an implosion type nuclear device and compressed, could produce a burst of neutrons suitable for initiating a fission chain reaction. The location where the experiments were conducted was said to have been cleaned of contamination after the experiments had taken place.”
Notice how unverifiable this is: if the evidence has been “cleaned” by those perfidious Iranians, then we’ll never know for sure, now will we? How very convenient.
Buried amidst all the technical jargon, interpolated with ambiguous conditional phrases, we have a story of a “clandestine nuclear network” – presumably the one set up by A.Q. Khan – which supposedly helped the Iranians set up their alleged weapons program. Or, rather, may have done so:
“In an interview in 2007 with a member of the clandestine nuclear supply network, the Agency was told that Iran had been provided with nuclear explosive design information. >From information provided to the Agency during that interview, the Agency is concerned that Iran may have obtained more advanced design information than the information identified in 2004 as having been provided to Libya by the nuclear supply network.”
In short: maybe – maybe not.
“Mainstream” media accounts of this farrago of half-truths and insinuations lead the unsuspecting reader to believe the Iranians are physically constructing a nuclear arsenal, which will shortly be aimed directly at Brooklyn, New York. The fact is that the only “illegal” activities Iran has carried out, in actual reality, are computer simulations. This is what they mean when they accuse Iran of engaging in “nuclear testing.” No one alleges Tehran has produced an actual physical bomb, or managed to put together a nuclear armed missile, and is hiding them underneath the Supreme Leader’s palace – this time around, the War Party is at least trying to be a bit more subtle. But subtlety, as we know, is not their forte.
What jumps out at the careful reader of the IAEA report is that there is nothing concrete involved in this nefarious plot: only hearsay descriptions of blueprints and computer models, including various publicly available scientific studies authored by Iranian scientists. According to Khan, what was transferred to the Iranians was know-how: theoretical knowledge and contacts with suppliers. Yet throughout the IAEA report, although there are plenty of instances where Iran is alleged to have sought this or that dual use component, we are never told if they actually succeeded in procuring the item. While the report attributes its information to “Member States,” why will I not be surprised if this “intelligence” comes from the same folks who brought us the Niger uranium forgeries?...MORE...LINK