Real Men Liberate Invade Iran

After trying our hand at smaller targets, it's time we took it up to the next level:  Iran.  Never mind that none of our liberation missions has been anywhere near accomplished, for the objective is to keep things in motion so that the 99% remain dazed and confused about the economy and any other matter of real concern.  Let's hear from the 99%:

Houston, TX

I’m concerned that the impending I.A.E.A. report on Iran’s alleged advances in her nuclear program may not be strictly professional and fair. And it’s because, as this article states, “the director of the agency, Yukia Amano,” secretly visited “the White House 11 days ago to meet top officials of the National Security Council about the coming report ….”

Is it customary for the head of the I.A.E.A. to meet secretly with “top officials of the National Security Council” of each of the member states of the I.A.E.A. Board to discuss a coming report?

The United States, Israel and Europe provided some of the information used for the impending report. These are the same countries which have been leading the crusade to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. A conflict of interest is obvious.

An inconvenient truth is that the US has the unhealthy habit of corrupting international bodies and their officials. The case for this harsh but unavoidable observation is laid out in the article, “Special Relationship,” by Colum Lynch, in the April 18, 2011, issue of Foreign Policy (www.foreignpolicy.com

“In the aftermath of Israel’s 2008-2009 intervention into the Gaza Strip, Susan E. Rice, the U. S. ambassador to the United Nations, led a vigorous campaign to stymie an independent U. N. investigation into possible war crimes, while using the prospect of such a probe as leverage to pressure Israel to participate in a U. S.-backed Middle East peace process….”

And the “United States and Israel were granted privileged access to highly sensitive internal U.N. deliberations on an “independent” U.N. board of inquiry into the Gaza war, raising questions about the independence of the process.”

Obviously, the U. S. tampered with the integrity of the U. N. Secretariat and a supposedly “independent” U. N. investigation.

Ms. Rice also warned the president of the ICC that an investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes could damage its standing with the United States

The U.S. also colluded with Israel in ultimately stopping the original investigation that was ordered by U.N. Security Council resolution 1405 into alleged Israeli misconduct during her intervention in Jenin, the West Bank.

ALL nations must abide by international laws. When any country habitually obstructs justice, we have a duty to yell “STOP!” As Charles Peguy, the French philosopher, noted, “He who does not bellow the truth, when he knows the truth, makes himself the accomplice of liars and forgers.”

The I.A.E.A. should do its job without the heavy-handed interference of outside interests.

Bill Messina

Who the heck are we to demand that other countries stop their nuclear weapon strategy?

If we don't give up ours, why should they have to give up their research.

Since any country that has a nuclear capability is immune from our "shock and awe" tactics (Russia, China, North Korea, Pakistan), why wouldn't these countries try to develop doomsday weapons to protect themselves against us?

Considering that we could totally destroy any country, that would dare send a nuclear weapon our way, none of them would dare take an offensive action against us.

What are we doing, here, attempting to build up a consensus to repeat our foolhardy efforts in Iraq against the Iranian people?

Citizens! Beware! The military industrial complex is still scheming.

MACV in DaNang
Castro Valley, CA

So What!. Iran deserves and reserves the right to acquire Nuclear Weapons. Who knows what country may try and invade (Israel, America) or bomb their people. A NUKE keeps everyone on their toes and in-their-place. Remember in 1953 The democratically elected government of Iran was overthrown by the CIA and Britain's MI6. This led to the Shah of Iran dictatorship up until 1979, during which thousands of Iranians were killed, tortured and repressed and the oil flowed to the west like honey. Now a country that can't tell the difference between forged papers concerning Yellow Cake Uranium from Niger, a country that created Abu Graib, Guantanamo Bay, the secret prisons and prison ships around the world, a country that launched two recent wars on faked justifications and killed more than a million civilians, a country that overthrew 13 legitimate democracies, and that installed and financed 42 bloody and brutal dictatorships around the world, shouldn't be shooting off too loudly about human rights violations and IRAN; there are still murderers with badges, guilty of lynchings, running around free. By the way, Asians have a loooong memory and they remember the 'Chinese Exclusion Act'. They also know that the Opium Poppy is not and was never native-to-China. The British (read White-man) introduced it in order to addict the population and control the tea-silk-spice trade. Now the Chinese own us lock-stock and barrel. They are in Africa, the Mid-East and South America. Do you really think China (and Russia) will allow the U.S. or Israel to start World War III without them being involved?

Are you still stupid after all these years? Have you forgotten the U.S.S. Liberty which was attacked in international waters by Israeli forces on June 8, 1967, killing 34 Americans and wounding another 174?

James O'Donnell III
Fremont, CA

Seymour Hersh, the Pulitzer winner who accurately debunked Bush’s case for war in IRAQ, sheds light on today’s crusade to vilify Iran using the IAEA (from DemocracyNow, 6/3/11):

“What the IAEA said is something it’s been saying repeatedly, even under ElBaradei. And I must say, the new director general, Mr. Amano, is, I think, more willing to please us than ElBaradei was, just in terms of speculating more.

...The word ‘evidence’ was nowhere in the report. It’s been going on a long time... the IAEA has put out... report after report that say one thing, that’s the most important thing: NO EVIDENCE of any diversion of enriched materials, NO EVIDENCE that they’re squirreling away enriched uranium to make a secret bomb. They have a lot of uranium enriched, the 3.7 percent, yes, but there’s NO EVIDENCE they’re doing anything more than storing it up to run a civilian nuclear reactor... And so, it’s the same thing that’s been going on. You can look at the questions raised and lead your story with that, or you can look at the fact they say consistently that there’s been no diversion.”

And regarding those documents fed to the IAEA during Bush’s tenure -- the same SECRET-SOURCE, unauthenticated junk that’s been recycled for today’s warmongers (now that there’s a Western stooge leading the agency) -- here’s an excerpt from an IAEA press release in September 2009:

“...the IAEA reiterates that it has NO CONCRETE PROOF that there is or has been a nuclear weapon programme in Iran. At the Board of Governors´ meeting on 9 September 2009, Director General Mohamed ElBaradei warned that continuing allegations that the IAEA was withholding information on Iran are POLITICALLY MOTIVATED AND TOTALLY BASELESS.”

So now, in 2011, Washington is having secret meetings with its preferred IAEA director and AGAIN endeavoring to hurl the world into chaos based on a pack of lies. The evidence supporting THAT conclusion is abundant.

James O’Donnell III


The US Neo-Cons have been salivating over Syria and Iran for years now - all you have to do is read their report 'Rebuilding America's Defenses' on the Middle East found on the (now disappeared) web site of the 'Project for a New American Century' and the textbook instructions on how they and their proxy, Israel, plan on destabilizing those countries, overthrowing their leaders, and seizing the oil and natural gas resources for the US in their hegemonic drive to sole world power status - all part of what they call the "Great Game."

General Wesley Clark, who commanded the North Atlantic Treaty Organization bombing campaign in the Kosovo war, recalls in his 2003 book 'Winning Modern Wars' being told by a friend in the Pentagon in November 2001 that the list of states that Rumsfeld and deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz wanted to take down included Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan and Somalia [and Lebanon].

When Douglas Feith was asked which of the six regimes on the Clark list were included in the Rumsfeld paper, he replied, "All of them."

Fortunately there are some saner heads standing up to the Israelis, the US and the Brits. Russia has finally started to exercise some clout and has warned Israel off of any attack or interference in the internal affairs of Iran or an attack on Iran's nuclear sites.

Now if we could get China to make similar suggestions to the US and the UK, then we might actually see some diplomatic skills at work and a defusing of the tensions that are threatening to embroil the US in yet another unaffordable war.

The Iranians are not stupid. Their civilization goes back way longer than others in the region. They are not Arabs, nor are they insane jihadists as other posters have written. They have never threatened the US.

This is all about making sure our puppet regimes in the Middle East are propped up with lackeys of our own making, and guaranteeing that oil and gas continue to flow. He who controls the oil controls the world.

Ike Solem

According to NYT reporter James Risen in his book, "State of War", a least some of that nuclear explosive trigger technology was delivered to Iran via a Russian engineer as the result of flawed covert CIA program (with some assistance from Department of Energy scientists), along the lines of the "Fast and Furious" fiasco in Mexico that led to the resignation of the ATF head.

This was all apparently true, as evidenced by the CIA and DOJ responses:

Subpoena Issued to Writer in C.I.A.-Iran Leak Case
Published: May 24, 2011

"WASHINGTON — With the approval of Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., federal prosecutors are trying to force the author of a book on the C.I.A. to testify at a criminal trial about who leaked information to him about the agency’s effort to sabotage the Iranian nuclear program at the end of the Clinton administration."

Given similar claims about the Iraqi nuclear program - made by both the UN agency as well as by the Bush Administration lackeys - all this should be considered highly suspect.

If the UN would generate a report on Israel's nuclear weapons program, to go hand-in-hand with the one on the supposed Iranian version, then they might have a little more credibility on this.

John Williford
Richland, Washington

We see an endless chain of demonization of foreigners, creating the enemies needed to manipulate the public to support endless military actions and enrichment of the elite military-industrial complex. The pattern is the old technique of manipulation of meat puppets who imagine that their voting privilege gives them leverage on events. It is the story of Mussolini in Italy and Adolph Hitler in Germany. It is an easily recognized pattern of fascism.

If, like the Germans of the 1930s, we eat the hate-mongering garbage we are fed and continue to ignore the theft of our republic by the current crop of fascists, we will no doubt continue to be drawn into endless war, and greater and greater war criminality.

Fascism is an amoral system, playing to the most base aspects of crowd psychology. In the short term, it creates an illusion of being part of a Master Race (read American Exceptionalism), which is taken as an entitlement or exemption from law and morality.

Although it is said that the trains ran on time in Italy during the fascist period, the system does not have legs. In pragmatic terms, fascism doesn't work, because the dependence on external enemies and constant war leads to collapse and loss. This is not rocket science.

Looking at the Italian fascists and the German Nazi party, only an ignorant fool afflicted with exceptional vanity would purposely take this path.

The question ahead of US is:  Does China want to own Iran?  Hint:  Is China getting a better deal from the liberated Libya than from Qaddafi?


Anonymous said...

Former Mossad Chief Seeks to Avert Israeli Attack

By Ronen Bergman and Juliane von Mittelstaedt in Tel Aviv

Is Israel planning an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities? For months now, former Mossad chief Meir Dagan has been publicly warning against such prospects. He's hoping to prevent what he believes could be a catastrophe. His statements, however, have deeply angered the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Meir Dagan is speaking out again. He's standing on the stage of the Industrial and Commercial Club in Tel Aviv, a low-profile venue for such a high-profile issue. Should Israel attack Iran's nuclear facilities? Dagan, a 66 year old who until January served as the head of the Mossad, Israel's foreign intelligence agency, thinks not.

Once again, he is issuing a warning. He's chosen the same words to do so this time, too: "We have to think about what would happen the day after." He has repeatedly said that an attack would have horrific consequences for Israel -- that it would be a disaster of unimaginable proportions.

Last Wednesday, just a few hours before Dagan's presentation, there were reports that Israeli fighter jets had conducted exercises over the Italian island of Sardinia. Their training program included attacking distant targets, conducting midair refueling and thwarting surface-to-air missiles. A vertical vapor trail was widely visible in the sky that afternoon as the military tested a newly developed Jericho 3 ballistic missile that can presumably also carry nuclear warheads up to 4,500 kilometers (2,800 miles).

At the same time, London's Guardian newspaper reported that the government of British Prime Minister David Cameron was planning to deploy warships, armed with cruise missiles, on a course for Iran.

The next morning, sirens could be heard throughout the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. People jumped out of their cars in a panic and ran to take shelter in bunkers. They feared the war might already have started, but it was just an exercise.

An Attack on Many Fronts

Such occurrences give rise to a number of questions: Can this be a coincidence? Is Israel preparing an attack, or is this saber-rattling just psychological warfare? Or, rather, is this meant to put pressure on the world -- and on Europe and the United States, in particular -- while delivering the message that if they don't act, Israel will?

This week, the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is expected to issue a new report that officially confirms for the first time that Iran is experimenting with technology that serves only one purpose: building a nuclear bomb.

This would be an ideal time for Israel to push for tougher sanctions. Indeed, it can't be ruled out that a diplomatic maneuver is in the works -- and, in fact, it seems rather likely. But that doesn't mean that Israel isn't also nonetheless preparing an attack.

On the contrary, it's very possible that Israel is laying the groundwork, both politically and militarily, for a preemptive strike. Israel believes that it has a maximum of 9-12 months to militarily put a halt to Iran's nuclear program. The US estimate is 18-21 months. Either way, that isn't very much time.

Anonymous said...

Growing Speculation

The ongoing debate in Israel over whether to launch an attack is more open than it ever has been. This debate cannot be part of a bluff because it doesn't help the prime minister when the general public suddenly wants to have a say in such matters.

Of course, journalists have always speculated on an attack, but now politicians, military leaders and intelligence officials are also joining in the chorus of people issuing public warnings. Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai said this operation is keeping him awake at night -- though he retracted the statement the next day. The Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth published a story under the headline "Atomic Pressure." The first sentence suggestively asked: "Have the prime minister and the defense minister decided among themselves to attack Iran's nuclear facilities?"

A Sudden, Terrifying Warning

Indeed, that is the key question. And the answer could lie with Meir Dagan, the man who moved this debate from the backrooms of the intelligence agencies and into the public limelight.

For over eight years, Dagan was Israel's most tight-lipped man -- the top-ranking spook at the Mossad, where he was known as "the man with the knife between his teeth." His special expertise is the "separation of an Arab from his head," then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is reported to have said around the time he appointed Dagan to run the Mossad. But since Jan. 6, 2011, Dagan has been speaking openly.

On his last day in office, Dagan invited Israeli journalists for the first time ever to the Mossad's headquarters, which has no official address and is not marked on any map. Then he announced that the Iranians would develop a nuclear bomb by the middle of the decade, at the earliest, but only if nothing and no one got in their way. He said it would take an additional three years before Iran developed a nuclear warhead. That would roughly put it in 2018, a date that would seem to make any attack now senseless.

Even if Israel attacked immediately, Dagan argued, it wouldn't halt Iran's nuclear program. On the contrary, the Iranians would be more motivated than ever to arm themselves and pursue a military course, while Israel would undoubtedly "pay a terrible, unbearable price." He said that Iran and Syria, along with Hamas and Hezbollah, the terror militias they financially back, would rain missiles on the country from north to south, killing thousands. "How can we defend ourselves against such an attack?" Dagan asked, adding: "I have no answer to that."

A Public Warning

Israel's top military censor sat next to Dagan, and when the presentation was over, the official told the journalists that they weren't allowed to publish anything they'd heard. This time it wasn't the Mossad chief who had to be protected from the public. Instead, it was the public that had to be protected from the Mossad chief.

This was an entirely unprecedented occurrence in Israel. The head of an intelligence agency had approached the public with a warning because he mistrusts the government, because he fears it could risk an unnecessary war, and because he apparently believes this decision has already been or is just about to be made.

With his statements, Dagan brought to light the secret wrangling between the intelligence agencies, the military and politicians over this issue, which is so essential to Israel's survival. What's more, if what Dagan said then and has repeated during his subsequent surprising appearances is true, then the prime minister and his defense minister actually intend to attack Iran.

Anonymous said...

One End, Different Means

Both Dagan and Netanyahu have made it their mission in life to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, but they have different strategies and timetables for accomplishing this goal. Netanyahu wants to attack before it's too late. His model is two past successful air raids -- the one in 1981 against Iraq and the other in 2007 against Syria. In both cases, the regimes did not retaliate.
Dagan says a military strike should be used only as a last resort, or "only when the sword is at our throat." He believes that an attack would trigger a regional war without end. As the head of the Mossad, he fought a shadow war aimed at postponing the moment when the bomb would be built. He achieved this with the help of the Stuxnet virus, suspicious accidents and the "elimination of important forces," as Dagan described it in a private conversation. There is a "white defection," he says, with fewer and fewer Iranian scientists willing to volunteer to work as part of the nuclear program.

The idea is to delay the bomb's construction until the ruling regime in Tehran has been overthrown -- and Dagan believes this is precisely what is about to happen. Now, though, he is afraid that Netanyahu might jump the gun and ruin his plan. After all, waiting is not Netanyahu's forte. For over 10 years, he has been warning about Iran, and he doesn't believe that Dagan's shadow war alone can prevent Iran from acquiring the bomb.

Some high-ranking military officials and politicians have gone so far as to accuse Dagan of actually winning time for the Iranians. But Dagan defends his strategy. He says he feels it is his duty to warn the public. Anyone who orders an attack, he contends, decides on the fate of future generations. This decision cannot be made in small circles, he adds. And, by that, he also means: not by these politicians.

Anonymous said...

Silencing All Criticism

As Dagan sees it, Netanyahu is incapable of leading Israel and has failed on all fronts. Israel has never been so strong militarily, he argues, yet had such weak political leaders. While he worked together with Netanyahu, Dagan says that the prime minister never informed him of any concrete political or military objectives. It is only when it comes to Iran that Netanyahu has an opinion -- and a goal. In order to achieve this goal, Dagan accuses Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak of trying to silence all criticism. The two politicians want to make this decision without involving the rest of the government, Dagan contends. And he views this way of doing things as legally problematic.

Indeed, Dagan says, this is why he and Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, the chief of staff of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) from 2007 to 2011, were removed from their positions during the first months of this year, and why Yuval Diskin, the head of Shin Bet, Israel's domestic intelligence agency, was not allowed to succeed him as head of the Mossad. Instead, they were replaced by individuals who reportedly have less critical views on attacking Iran and at least lack enough experience to take a firm stance against such a move.

Dagan calls this a plot, a clandestine putsch by the politicians against the intelligence agencies. "Diskin, Ashkenazi and I succeeded in blocking all dangerous adventures," he says, adding that now there is no one left to stand in their way.

This version is supported by many former military officers, intelligence officials and politicians who defend Dagan and strike similar tones. "Listen to them, in every field," says Tzipi Livni, the parliamentary opposition leader and head of the centrist Kadima party. Open criticism used to be rare in Israel, but that is no longer the case.

Danny Yatom and Efraim Halevy, both former Mossad chiefs, say that Dagan is right to speak up -- and that he apparently has good reasons for doing so. "The public should hear his opinion on Iran," Yatom says. Those who know Dagan -- and, particularly, generals and former colleagues -- confirm he means what he says. They say he is neither interested in launching a political career nor seeking any benefit.

Anonymous said...

Efforts to Halt an Attack

For a long time, the Americans have also been afraid that Israel would make good on its threat to attack. In the spring of 2008, then-US President George W. Bush flew to Israel for a surprise visit. He demanded to see then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his defense minister, Ehud Barak, neither of whom knew the reason for the meeting. "I need you to promise that you won't use the transitional period between me and my successor to attack Iran," Bush reportedly insisted, apparently highly concerned.

A similar visit was made this October by US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. All steps against Iran's nuclear program must be coordinated with the international community, he warned Israeli leaders -- so emphatically, in fact, that it sounded as if US intelligence agencies had gotten wind of preparations for an attack.

Has Dagan postponed an attack or perhaps even prevented one? It may be possible to answer that question someday, or we may never know the answer. What is certain, though, is that nothing undermines a secret attack more than talking about it. Menachem Begin, Israel's prime minister from 1977 to 1983, called off the first air operation against Iraq's Osirak reactor after then-opposition leader Shimon Peres found out about it. The pilots were already sitting in their fighter planes. A month later, they destroyed the reactor.

"Forgive me," says Dagan, "but I will continue to speak at every opportunity." He adds that one shouldn't try to stop him. He has a good lawyer, he says, and a good memory.

Anonymous said...

U.N. Agency Says Iran Data Points to A-Bomb Work
United Nations weapons inspectors have amassed a trove of new evidence that they say makes a “credible” case that “Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device,” and that the project may still be under way.

The long-awaited report, released by the International Atomic Energy Agency on Tuesday, represents the strongest judgment the agency has issued in its decade-long struggle to pierce the secrecy surrounding the Iranian program. The findings, drawn from evidence of far greater scope and depth than the agency has previously made public, have already rekindled a debate among the Western allies and Israel about whether increased diplomatic pressure, sanctions, sabotage or military action could stop Iran’s program.

Knowing that their findings would be compared with the flawed Iraq intelligence that preceded the 2003 invasion — and has complicated American moves on Iran — the inspectors devoted a section of the report to “credibility of information.” The information was from more than 10 countries and from independent sources, they said; some was backed up by interviews with foreigners who had helped Iran.

The report laid out the case that Iran had moved far beyond the blackboard to create computer models of nuclear explosions in 2008 and 2009 and conducted experiments on nuclear triggers. It said the simulations focused on how shock waves from conventional explosives could compress the spherical fuel at the core of a nuclear device, which starts the chain reaction that ends in nuclear explosion.

The report also said Iran went beyond such theoretical studies to build a large containment vessel at its Parchin military base, starting in 2000, for testing the feasibility of such explosive compression. It called such tests “strong indicators of possible weapon development.”

The inspectors agreed with a much-debated classified United States National Intelligence Estimate issued in 2007 that Iran had dismantled a highly focused effort to build a bomb in late 2003, but found significant recent work, though conducted in a less coordinated manner.

Anonymous said...

The report does not claim that Iran has mastered all the necessary technologies, or estimate how long it would take for Iran to be able to produce a nuclear weapon. Inspectors do not point to a single weapons lab, or provide evidence of a fully constructed nuclear weapon. Instead, the report describes roughly a dozen different projects that countries that have built nuclear weapons — the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, Israel, India and Pakistan — all had to grapple with, in some form. An I.A.E.A. report last May listed five fewer categories of such technical information.

The inspectors’ report cited:

¶ Documents suggesting that Iran “was working on a project to secure a source of uranium suitable for use in an undisclosed enrichment program” to make bomb fuel.

¶ Evidence that Iran “had been provided with nuclear explosive design information.”

¶ Information that it worked on experiments with conventional explosives to compress metal into an incredibly dense mass suitable to start a chain reaction.

¶ Documentation of “at least 14 progressive design iterations” for a missile warhead to deliver an atomic warhead to a distant target.

The report was produced under Yukiya Amano, a former Japanese diplomat who has run the I.A.E.A. for nearly two years, and addressed to the agency’s board of governors and the United Nations Security Council. In it, Mr. Amano said that inspectors had amassed “over a thousand pages” of documents, presumably leaked out of Iran. He said they showed “research, development and testing activities” on technologies that would be useful in designing a nuclear weapon.

He said “a number of individuals” involved in Iran’s activities had provided information described as “consistent” with the intelligence from “more than 10” other countries, which it did not name, including some demonstrating Iranian “manufacturing techniques for certain high explosive components.”

A senior Obama administration official briefing reporters on Tuesday pointed to the I.A.E.A.’s evidence of work on detonation systems, including a special type of spherical initiation system that implodes a nuclear core with tremendous precision. “It’s a very telltale sign of nuclear weapons work,” he said.

Anonymous said...

Iran quickly rejected the report’s findings. “The report of the International Atomic Energy Agency is unbalanced, unprofessional and politically motivated,” Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s representative to the I.A.E.A., was quoted as saying by the country’s official Islamic Republic News Agency.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran said the United Nations agency should instead investigate the United States nuclear arsenal. “If the agency is after the truth, why has it not released any report on the U.S. atomic bombs concealed in 1,000 of its military bases?” Mr. Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by the semiofficial Fars news agency. Iranian officials have said the evidence is fabricated, and some have warned that any attempt by the West to stop its program, by any means, could invite retaliation.

Mr. Amano said the agency had “tried without success to engage Iran in discussions about the information.” But he said that “Iran continued to conceal nuclear activities,” including its effort to construct a secret enrichment facility near Qum.

Iran told the nuclear agency about that facility days before President Obama and European leaders reported its existence two years ago, and Iran has recently said it is moving some of its nuclear activity to that underground facility, at a well-defended military base.

The I.A.E.A. report’s detailed revelations are a fascinating role reversal from 2003, when the United States and Britain claimed Iraq was seeking to rekindle its nuclear program. In that case, the agency warned that the Bush administration’s case was weak and that some of the evidence was forged. Now, it is the normally cautious agency that is taking the lead, arguing that years of study had led it to the conclusion that, despite Iran’s denials, the country engaged in an active program to design nuclear warheads, among other technologies.

“The level of detail is unbelievable,” said a Western diplomat familiar with the report, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was discussing the agency’s internal assessment of the report. “The report describes virtually all the steps to make a nuclear warhead and the progress Iran has achieved in each of those steps. It reads like a menu.”

The new evidence came as no surprise to the Obama administration, which has possessed some of this intelligence for years, but moved carefully in adding pressure on Iran, mindful of the loss of credibility the United States suffered over faulty intelligence on Iraq’s weapons efforts.

Anonymous said...

Now the United States faces a new set of difficult choices. Years of sanctions have hurt Iran, but the report makes clear that those sanctions have not forced it to reconsider its program. Efforts to sabotage the Iranian effort have reached back a decade, most recently with a computer worm called Stuxnet, which appears to have been a joint covert action by Israel and the United States. It is not mentioned in the report, but experts say it slowed Iran’s enrichment of uranium. But production rates have since recovered.

While Israel has talked about military action, both the Bush and Obama administrations have argued that an airstrike would not slow the program much, and that it would drive it further underground.

But there are many theories about whether Israel’s latest discussions of military strikes are intended to focus the West on new pressure and sanctions, or are leading up to military action.

The section of the report dealing with the credibility of the evidence described how early information it had obtained — while the report does not say so, some came from a laptop slipped out of the country by an Iranian scientist — was corroborated by later interviews with foreigners who helped Iran.

The report cited “a wide variety of independent sources,” including the agency’s own investigations. That appeared to be part of an effort to anticipate the critique that the agency was recycling information from the C.I.A. or Israel’s Mossad.

The report also describes how Iran has altered, every few years, the bureaucracy that runs the military side of the weapons program. It described what is essentially a nuclear version of three-card monte, in which scientists are hidden in organizations with names like “Section for Advanced Development Applications and Technologies” and at universities around Tehran. But the overall leadership of the program is the Ministry of Defense.

Much of the program was run by Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who is also a professor in Tehran; he went underground after several Iranian scientists were assassinated. Iran has never allowed him, or his colleagues, to be interviewed by inspectors.

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