by Michael Keefer
February 10, 2006
Iran has been in the gun-sights of George W. Bush and his entourage from the moment that he was parachuted into the presidency in November 2000 by his father’s Supreme Court.
A year ago there were signs, duly reported by Seymour Hersh and others, that the United States and Israel were working out the targeting details of an aerial attack on Iran that it was anticipated would occur in June 2005 (see Hersh, Gush Shalom, Jensen). But as Michel Chossudovsky wrote in May 2005, widespread reports that George W. Bush had “signed off on” an attack on Iran did not signify that the attack would necessarily occur during the summer of 2005: what the ‘signing off’ suggested was rather “that the US and Israel [were] ‘in a state of readiness’ and [were] prepared to launch an attack by June or at a later date. In other words, the decision to launch the attack [had] not been made” (Chossudovsky: May 2005).
Since December 2005, however, there have been much firmer indications both that the planned attack will go ahead in late March 2006, and also that the Cheney-Bush administration intends it to involve the use of nuclear weapons.
It is important to understand the nature and scale of the war crimes that are being planned—and no less important to recognize that, as in the case of the Bush regime’s assault on Iraq, the pretexts being advanced to legitimize this intended aggression are entirely fraudulent. Unless the lurid fantasies of people like former Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security and now Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton count as evidence—and Bolton’s pronouncements on the weaponry supposedly possessed by Iraq, North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela show him to be less acquainted with truth than Jean Harlow was with chastity—there is no evidence that Iran has or has ever had any nuclear weapons development program. Claims to the contrary, however loudly they may have been trumpeted by Fox News, CNN, or The New York Times, are demonstrably false.
Nor does there appear to be the remotest possibility, whatever desperate measures the Iranian government might be frightened into by American and Israeli threats of pre-emptive attacks, that Iran would be able to produce nuclear weapons in the near future. On August 2, 2005, The Washington Post reported that according to the most recent National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), which represents a consensus arrived at among U.S. intelligence agencies, “Iran is about a decade away from manufacturing the key ingredient for a nuclear weapon, roughly doubling the previous estimate of five years” (Linzer, quoted by Clark, 28 Jan. 2006).
Read the rest of this in-depth analysis at the Global Research site.