Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Beware the Iranian Bandersnatch, My Son

From the Washington Post comes news that the Iranian WMD snark-hunt is about as grounded in reality as the Iraqi version was:

Traces of bomb-grade uranium found two years ago in Iran came from contaminated Pakistani equipment and are not evidence of a clandestine nuclear weapons program, a group of U.S. government experts and other international scientists has determined.

"The biggest smoking gun that everyone was waving is now eliminated with these conclusions," said a senior official who discussed the still-confidential findings on the condition of anonymity.

This accords perfectly with the article by nuclear physicist Gordon Prather that I cited on the 9th that said Iran was fully compliant with IAEA safeguards and is a long way from having anything that would approach weapons-grade material manufacturing capabilities.

The Pakistanis, on the other hand, have "denied IAEA inspectors access to Khan and to the country's nuclear facilities" For more on Khan and the Pakistani export of nuclear weapons technology and more on why Pakistan is a bigger threat than Iran to world stability see here and here. Who is the real threat here?

Nor is the Bush administration adverse to lying to further its agenda. Lest we forget, the WaPo treats us to the words of John Bolton, the new US ambassador at the UN, speaking in June last year:

Another unmistakable indicator of Iran's intentions is the pattern of repeatedly lying to and providing false and incomplete reports to the IAEA," Bolton said. "For example, Iran first denied it had enriched any uranium. Then it said it had not enriched uranium more than 1.2 percent. Later, when evidence of uranium enriched to 36 percent was found, it attributed this to contamination from imported centrifuge parts.

Reminds me strongly of another US ambassador to the UN, Colin Powell, making a speach to that assemblage that later proved to be pure spin and warmongering.

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