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IRAN: Another day, another U.S. bomb allegation

CIA Director Michael V. Hayden became the third ranking Bush administration official to allege recently that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program. This despite a National Intelligence Estimate last year that concluded Iran had halted its weaponization effort in 2003.

HaydenHayden follows in the footsteps of his boss, President Bush, who said in March that Iran had "declared" it was pursuing nuclear weapons in order to destroy Israel, and Vice President Dick Cheney, who alleged that Iran was trying to produce weapons-grade uranium. Neither statement appears to be rooted in publicly known facts.

But Hayden's Sunday talk show allegation, reported on by The Times' Greg Miller in Washington, was qualitatively different than those of Bush or Cheney. He admitted candidly that his assessment was not "court-of-law stuff," that he had no proof. "This is Mike Hayden looking at the body of evidence," he told NBC's "Meet the Press."

Rather, he cast the Iranian leadership in the role of rational actors. He deduced that Iran wouldn't tolerate all the international isolation and sanctions it's now weathering for a mere peaceful energy program.

In fact, the international community has offered Iran help with its nuclear program provided it gives up the goal of mastering the enrichment cycle within its borders. Enriching uranium is a key step in producing material for a nuclear weapon, as well as fuel for a nuclear power plant.

Here's Hayden:

Why would the Iranians be willing to pay the international tariff they appear willing to pay for what they're doing now if they did not have, at a minimum . . . the desire to keep the option open to develop a nuclear weapon and, perhaps even more so, that they've already decided to do that?

This is an argument I've heard bandied about before. In an interview a few months ago, Meir Javedanfar, an Israeli of Iranian descent and a decent outside observer of the Iranian leadership and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told me pretty much the same thing:

Khamenei is a very pragmatic strategist. I do not believe that he would have made Iran isolated the way it is — rounds of sanctions and so many problems — if he had nothing to hide. If they had nothing to hide, this would defy the logical cost-vs.-loss analysis under which the government in Tehran has operated for so long.

This assessment prompts a question: If Iran's leaders are rational actors carefully balancing costs and benefits to maintain their survival, would they ever use a  nuclear or other kind of weapon against either Israel or Europe, a move that would probably result in their own annihilation?

This may be why officials like Hayden, though concerned about Iran's nuclear program, are less panicked by it than others who see Iran's leadership as more extreme and messianic.

Borzou Daragahi in Beirut

Photo: Michael V. Hayden. Credit: Brendan Smialowski / Associated Press


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The only issue is oil, the rest is smoke and mirriors , diverting attention from the oil grab. Dont fall fotr it..
The plan as in Iraq is to destroy the nation, create a civil war,, create mayhem and bluster to divert media attention whilst the oil and gas is robbed.

There are only 2 situations that would stop the Iranian government to give up its nuclear activities:
1 if the west gurantees it will not seek a regime change in Tehran and turn a blind eye on the Iranians internal affairs
2 An economical meltdown causing the Iranian nation to
undermine the regime.
Since both scenarios are practically impossible, the west has no option but to think of the unthinkable!

Did we force Iran to acquire her own nuclear fuel cycle?

What would be the cost for purchasing nuclear fuel to a non-fuel cycle nation other than to Iran? How much did Iran pay to Russia for the fuel she purchased? How long did she wait to receive the fuel? Was this cost twice or more of a reasonable cost having been available to Iran from England or France? What were the political barriers created by the United States and Israel to block Russian selling of the nuclear fuels?

The present US administration asserts that once Iranian people have learned about use of the fuel production technique for fuel production, it would be a smaller step to enrich the fuel from less than 5% to more than 80% and make nuclear bomb. Thus, the title of the act “counter-proliferation” refers to stopping Iranian people to learn about nuclear physics, nuclear chemistry and engineering. But, Iranian scientists and engineers already know the nuclear science and engineering of uranium fuel cycle.

Our government rationale is comparable to arguing that teaching sciences in our high schools and colleges would give students the knowledge to make bomb. Thus, if we follow the purpose of the counter-proliferation, then by this logic teaching of all sciences should be stopped!

We have not allowed Iranian people access to civilian uses of nuclear science and materials for medicine, and agriculture over the last 20 years. Did we force Iran to acquire her own nuclear fuel cycle? I suggest we did!

Saint Michael Traveler at: http://straveler-myamerica.blogspot.com/

America's standard for saying which countries can have nuclear weapons is simple: Countries we like can have them. Countries we dislike can't.

To much of the rest of the world, our double standards appear sanctimonious, self-righteous, and based on a notion that some are inherently responsible enough to be "trusted" with these weapons of the apocalypse, while others are not.

How is it possible that those who make World Wars, drop bombs, make thousands of nuclear arms, torture in their jails, and wiretap—that is to say, the biggest violators of human rights in the world—can try and impose their model on everyone else?

I am iranian and I live in teheran.
we believe that our regime are going to build a bomb.
Why our regime is only interested in sciences that have military uses.
Our position in other sciences is poor.
Our axis of evil regime do based on their interests.but their interests unfortunately are in opposition to iranian national interests.
Now the iranian people suffer from sanctions not regime.
They do love this situation of having foreign enemy.They can kill people and oppositions easily.
Of course they love bomb .It can help them in the war with israel and america.It will force israel not to bomb them with nuclear weapons.

The reason Iran is insisting on its nuclear program is because the mullahs had promised that Iran will not bend to the super powers(then the USSR and USA, and now the USA) demands in the beginning of the revolution. If they do the ruling party will get battered by the oppositions press, and this time the ruling party will not be able to shut the press up because would be after all "following khomeini's way". That is my view and I would believe I make a better judge than "Meir Javedanfar, an Israeli of Iranian descent". Come on one would know who's side he would be on! This report is soooooooo biased. write me up if you need more.

Yet another unsubstantiated accusation from an administration true-believer. This has gone on for over 5 years now without a "smoking gun" or a "mushroom cloud"(with kind permission from Dr. Rice of course).
I think these Bush people are living in Fantasyland. Well Mr. Hayden while you are there in Fantasyland why don't you also locate those Iraqi "weapons of mass destruction"!? After all it was your agency that was so confident (slam dunk) that those Winnebagos were brimming with it.
Stop this silliness for goodness sake, it is costing LIVES!

US administration and (the always wanting to please) senior officers are not just some unbiased bystandards!

It seems as The Iranian government for all its nonsense has done good job in countering Bush administration arguments:

1) if there was not the nuclear issue, US would turn its attention on Missiles and rocket industry.

2) Enriching Uranium is a national right by UN, but who is going to penalize US or Europe or Russia if they fail to deliver, break, or change the terms of a Nuclear Feul delivery ? as this has happened before. US would be there READY TO GO to enforce no nuclear fuel production by Iranians ONCE Iranian government gives up that right. But would US use all options as (the vice president likes to emphasise) once someone breaks the delivery ?! I don't think so.

There were no WMDs in Iraq and there are none in Iran. US has been using strong arming tactics against these far away nations in order to control their resources. Throughout history US has used bombardment of their cities, coups and sanctions in order to make them mere fiefdoms of the US. Iraq showed what Bush administration is saying is all a pack of lies and these lies are costing the tax payers and the economy hugely.

I think the problem is that Americans are now very ignorant about Iran and the realities that surround this country. The people should start learning at least. There are now some blogs which can give a more realistic picture like:

The Iranian leadership is, for all intents and purposes, playing this JUST as they need to in order to maintain legitimacy domestically.

As long as the continue to abide by or at the very worst test the lines of the NPT, to which they are a signatory, any pressure from the outside world towards Iranian sovereignty and self-interest will continue to be viewed through the scope of Iranian history. This only serves to coalesce the Iranian people around the Fuqaha and Ayatollahs!

Nothing like a good Marghbar Amrika! Marghbar Esraeel! to help you forget about your economic situation. After all, the Americans want to rob the Iranian people their legitimate right to produce nuclear energy. If this were to happen, those hefty oil profits would suddenly disappear in order to cover the costs of providing alternative sources of energy to Iran.

Isn't this sort of political game a very pragmatic move by Khamein'i and his advisors? It's simple, maintain the impression that Iran is once again under siege from the West, and crack down brutally on dissenters who wish to point out the human rights abuses and democratic deficits seen in the Islamic Republic and you shall remain in power.

This is getting more and more interesting, I like to know when they are going to bring fortune-tellers and palm-readers into this farce!

Absolutely agreed, Hass, on all scores.

The U.S. likes to have it both ways. So many of our international problems has been U.S. CIA minions gone bad -- Sadaam, Noriega, Somoza, Marcos, the Shah. We have had toeliminate these former allies time and time again after they outlived their usefulness to us or we needed a scapegoat.

Then there are those like Iran, where you so correctly point out, the US encouraged and supported the nuclear program there in its beginnings.

It still remains quite likely that the U.S. -- as enamored as it is of its Machiavellian skills -- will sell the rope with which it is later hung.

In the meantime, the U.S. will engage in infamies of deception, lies, intel slights of hand, and bullying of the international community.

Unfortunately, the U.S. populace are non-players (accept in lending their uninformed and cowardly acquiescence at the required moment) having succumbed long ago to the TV, the mall, and Walmart.

This sort of argument by innuendo only proves that the US doesn't have any actual evidence that Iran is seeking nukes.

If a "mere" civilian nuclear program is so worthless, why did the US encourage and support Iran's nuclear program in the first place? Would the US be willing to simply give up its own "mere" civilian nuclear energy sources to Iran? Why should Iran do so?

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