Friday, April 28, 2006

The Imminence Of Iran

Today was the day the United Nations received a report from the International Atomic Energy Agency regarding Iran's actions in regards to enriching uranium. Here's the first report from the New York Times, "Iran Is Not Cooperating, Agency Says". Without going into extreme detail, the article makes mention, "that after more than three years of an IAEA investigation, 'the existing gaps in knowledge continue to be a matter of concern.'" It would appear that the IAEA is looking for more information on the enrichment process, and not getting the answers they want.

Then comes this fine quote from America's representative at the U.N.:
''I think if anything, the IAEA report shows that Iran has accelerated its efforts to acquire nuclear weapons, although, of course, the report doesn't make any conclusions in that regard,'' Bolton said.

His statement at first implies that the report "shows" that Iran is after nuclear weapons, and the second portion of his statement is a concession that the report does not say this. Interesting.

Further rattling of cages in the Mideast to follow.

Match this action against cooler heads that might say "not so fast", such as David Isenberg's opinion piece published at and the Center for Defense Information entitled, "Saber Rattling Backed Up by Weak Intelligence." A quick passage:
Even if all the questions are answerable, much would still depend on having excellent intelligence. And our intelligence on Iran, to put it politely, stinks. U.S. News & World Report recently reported that Senate Select Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said that, “we have not made the progress on our oversight of Iran intelligence, which is critical.” Last year, the report of the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction stated, “From Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons to the inner workings of al-Qaida, the intelligence community frequently admitted to us that it lacks answers.”

The United States will be planning future actions that are based on insufficient intelligence, or so it appears.

These are precisely the same type of arguments that would lead the United States into a sticky civil war in Iraq. The policy driving an attack on Iran would undoubtedly not follow that model - which quite possibly would leave the door open for a uniquely different Rumsfeldian blunder in Iran.

Iran may well be doing research which would lead them to a nuclear bomb. It may also be doing research which may lead to nuclear energy for its country. How much more difficult will this confrontation be when the Administration tries to bully Iran into doing what the U.S. wants?

About as difficult as affording a barrel of oil at $100-plus.

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