But, wait, I thought
In late October 2007, according to the International Herald Tribune, the head of the IAEA, Mohamed ElBaradei, stated that he had seen “no evidence” of Iran developing nuclear weapons. The IHT quoted ElBaradei as saying “We have information that there has been maybe some studies about possible weaponization. That’s why we have said that we cannot give Iran a pass right now, because there is still a lot of question marks … . But have we seen Iran having the nuclear material that can readily be used into a weapon? No. Have we seen an active weaponization program? No.” The IHT report went on to say that “ElBaradei said he was worried about the growing rhetoric from the U.S., which he noted focused on Iran’s alleged intentions to build a nuclear weapon rather than evidence the country was actively doing so. If there is actual evidence, ElBaradei said he would welcome seeing it.”
In July 2009, Yukiya Amano, the in-coming head of the IAEA said: “I don’t see any evidence in IAEA official documents” that Iran is trying to gain the ability to develop nuclear arms
The Left jumped on that report, and others, that Iran wasn’t even close to developing nuclear weapons, that they were either decades away or building nuclear plants for “peaceful energy purposes.” We were told that Iran gave up their nuclear weapons ambitions in 2003. All sorts of media outlets bashed Bush for trying to get tough on Iran, saying they were no real threat. And today we get
(Washington Post) Intelligence provided to U.N. nuclear officials shows that Iran’s government has mastered the critical steps needed to build a nuclear weapon, receiving assistance from foreign scientists to overcome key technical hurdles, according to Western diplomats and nuclear experts briefed on the findings.
Documents and other records provide new details on the role played by a former Soviet weapons scientist who allegedly tutored Iranians over several years on building high-precision detonators of the kind used to trigger a nuclear chain reaction, the officials and experts said. Crucial technology linked to experts in Pakistan and North Korea also helped propel Iran to the threshold of nuclear capability, they added.
The officials, citing secret intelligence provided over several years to the International Atomic Energy Agency, said the records reinforce concerns that Iran continued to conduct weapons-related research after 2003 — when, U.S. intelligence agencies believe, Iranian leaders halted such experiments in response to international and domestic pressures.
Now, I know it would be easy to bash Obama, especially over his early talk about discussions with Iran with no preconditions, discussions which never really took place. And for pushing more sanctions. For holding Israel back. But, let’s be fair, other than threats, which Iran would ignore, and actually bomb bomb bombing Iran, there was little Obama could do.
But, with this report, one has to wonder what the U.S. and Israel will now do. Consider this from a NY Times article back on August 19, 2010, in which the Obama administration convinced Israel to hold off a bit, that the threat was not “imminent”
American officials said the United States believed international inspectors would detect an Iranian move toward breakout within weeks, leaving a considerable amount of time for the United States and Israel to consider military strikes.
Remember, there was a report that Israel was getting ready to strike Iran, which Defense Minister Ehud Barak said was not accurate.
Now, there will be all sorts of editorials and talking heads discussing this, and there will be two positions: strike now and strike hard, or simply yammer and put more sanctions in place. Striking could give Iran more prestige among the hard core Islamists and the Israel and U.S. haters. Talks and sanctions will do absolutely nothing, as history has shown. The big question is, do we wait till Iran actually has nuclear weapons built, and uses them, either directly or through one of their terrorist groups?