You might have thought the warmongering had died down by now, but just yesterday former Israeli Military Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin said “that Iran had enough material to develop ‘four or five’ nuclear bombs, adding that it was imperative for Israel to maintain good relations with members of the international community capable of dealing with that threat.” A more explicit articulation of Israel’s intentions of attacking Iran is hard to find (no, not really.)
But headlines like the ones that statement produced allow for the myth of an Iranian nuclear weapons to proliferate (no pun). In the words of a recent blog post at FPIF, “No, Really, Iran Isn’t Developing Nuclear Weapons.” Or take Seymour Hersh, an expert on the issue:
…Robert Kelley, a retired I.A.E.A. director and nuclear engineer who previously spent more than thirty years with the Department of Energy’s nuclear-weapons program, told me that he could find very little new information in the I.A.E.A. report. He noted that hundreds of pages of material appears to come from a single source: a laptop computer, allegedly supplied to the I.A.E.A. by a Western intelligence agency, whose provenance could not be established. Those materials, and others, “were old news,” Kelley said, and known to many journalists. “I wonder why this same stuff is now considered ‘new information’ by the same reporters.”
…Greg Thielmann, a former State Department and Senate Intelligence Committee analyst who was one of the authors of the A.C.A. assessment, told me, “There is troubling evidence suggesting that studies are still going on, but there is nothing that indicates that Iran is really building a bomb.” He added, “Those who want to drum up support for a bombing attack on Iran sort of aggressively misrepresented the report.”
…The report did note that its on-site camera inspection process of Iran’s civilian nuclear enrichment facilities—mandated under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to which Iran is a signatory—“continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material.”
Still, and as I’ve said repeatedly, I don’t think the military and intelligence communities in the U.S. and Israel are on the whole supportive of such saber rattling. Mier Dagan, the former Israeli intelligence chief who has consistently spoken out against an attack on Iran, again came out yesterday to warn against it. He said an attack on Iran – which would be preemptive and an act of aggression since Iran has broken no rules and presents no threat – would result in a vicious outbreak of regional warfare potentially resulting in massive casualties on many sides.
Those with any particle of sanity will agree with him.