Newsweek is reporting that the US intelligence community continues to assess that Iran is not working on getting a nuclear weapon. Iran insists that its nuclear energy research program is for the purpose of producing fuel for the Bushehr reactors when their construction is complete. I.e. they are seeking an “exotic way of boiling water” (the ironic definition of nuclear power for electricity generation). As far as US intelligence can tell, the Iranian claim is correct. The Israelis and Germans are wild men on this issue, but a) the US has better intelligence on the nuclear issue than do they; b) the Israeli and German intelligence agencies got Iraq badly wrong; c) Israel in particular wants to strike Iran for political reasons, to take it down a notch, and may be seeing the raw intelligence through that lens.
The other news is about so-called suppressed documents in the files at the International Atomic Energy Agency, which are alleged to show a nuclear weapons research program. Gareth Porter argues convincingly that the reason that the IAEA never took the documents seriously is that there is every reason to think they are forgeries, perhaps by the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) political cult, which wants to have the US overthrow the clerical regime in Tehran so that MEK can take over the country.
As for the Western press leaks that Iran now has enough nuclear material to make a bomb or now has the technical ability to make a bomb, both are nonsense. You need to enrich uranium to 90% to make a bomb. Iran claims to be able to enrich to 4% and a lot of observers think that is an exaggeration. So ipso facto Iran cannot possibly have produced enough fissile material for a bomb. Moreover, you need to have a weapons program trying to enrich to 90% to produce a bomb, which Iran does not have, from everything US intelligence can discover. Either the journalists are being fed fraudulent documents or they are just orally being misled.
Many American Jewish organizations are dismayed by the right-wing Likud Party’s beating of war drums against Iran.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is putting pressure on Iran about its nuclear research.
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