Which brings us to the declaration by Ahmadinejad on the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, which produced this headline in The New York Times: "Iran Boasts of Capacity to Make Bomb Fuel."
Accurate as far as it went, this headline was so incomplete as to mislead. For here is what Ahmadinejad said in full:
"When we say that we don't build nuclear bombs, it means that we won't do so because we don't believe in having it. ... The Iranian nation is brave enough that if one day we wanted to build nuclear bombs, we would announce it publicly without being afraid of you.
"Right now in Natanz we have the capability to enrich to more than 20 percent and to more than 80 percent, but because we don't need to, we won't do so."
On Friday, Ahmadinejad sounded like Ronald Reagan: "We believe that not only the Middle East but the whole world should be free of nuclear weapons, because we see such weapons as inhumane."
Now, if as Albright suggests, Tehran cannot produce fuel for nuclear power plants, and if, as Gibbs suggests, Iran is not capable of enriching to 20 percent for fuel for its research reactor, is Ahmadinejad, in renouncing the bomb, making a virtue of necessity?
After all, if you can't build them, denounce them as inhumane.
Last December, however, The Times of London reported it had a secret document, which "intelligence agencies" dated to early 2007, proving that Iran was working on the final component of a "neutron initiator," the trigger for an atom bomb.
If true, this would leave egg all over the faces of 16 U.S. intelligence agencies whose December 2007 consensus was that Iran stopped seeking a bomb in 2003.
The Times credited an "Asian intelligence service" for having ably assisted with its story.
U.S. intelligence, however, has not confirmed the authenticity of the document, and Iran calls it a transparent forgery. When former CIA man Phil Giraldi sounded out ex-colleagues still in the trade, they, too, called the Times' document a forgery.
Shades of Saddam seeking yellowcake from Niger.
Are the folks who lied us into war on Iraq, to strip it of weapons it did not have, now trying to lie us into war on Iran, to strip it of weapons it does not have?
Maybe the Senate should find out before voting sanctions that will put us on the road to such a war, which would fill up all the empty beds at Walter Reed.
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