Here we go again…
Officials: Iran does not have key nuclear material
WASHINGTON – Iran does not yet have any highly enriched uranium, the fuel needed to make a nuclear warhead, two top U.S. intelligence officials told Congress Tuesday, disputing a claim by an Israeli official.
U.S. National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair and Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Michael Maples said Tuesday that Iran has only low-enriched uranium — which would need to be refined into highly enriched uranium before it can fuel a warhead. Neither officials said there were indications that refining has occurred.
Their comments disputed a claim made last weekend by Israel’s top intelligence military official, who said Iran has crossed a technical threshold and is now capable of producing atomic weapons.
The claim made by Israeli Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin runs counter to estimates by U.S. intelligence that the earliest Iran could produce a weapon is 2010, with some analysts saying it is more likely that it is 2015.
Maples said the United States and Israel are interpreting the same facts, but arriving at different conclusions.
"The Israelis are far more concerned about it," Maples told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
This is comical for so many reasons. Mostly because I am nearly done with the chapter of Zeev Maoz’s paperback edition of Defending the Holy Land that is about Israel’s nuclear weapons and nuclear policy. Maoz writes that Israel has put an undue emphasis of their monopoly on nuclear weapons as a means to ensure their dominance in the region. So that Israel is "far more concerned" makes complete sense. Their concern is not that Iran will attack them, but rather that Iran can feel less threatened or deter them.
Maoz also notes that ever since the mid-1990s the US "intelligence" agencies have claimed Iran is less than five years away from building a nuke and even this article uses the word "yet" in its opening sentence as if it has any proof or special knowledge about intentions.
Last month the IAEA said the same thing: Iran, though it produced more than disclosed, has not produced at the level for making weapons.
While it makes sense for Iran to seek the bomb I am just not at all convinced that it is trying to do so, mostly due to their support of FISSBAN.
But what concerns me the most is that these media pieces portray some falsehoods that need to be shattered. Most predominantly is that we are allegedly concerned of a nuclear armed Middle East, but for decades we have done and said nothing to confront Israel about their nukes. In fact, we have been accomplices. And then there is our own nuclear policy.
If we are concerned about nuclear weapons and world peace and so on then we sure do have a funny way of showing it, at least judging by our policies and those of our allies we more than willingly tolerate.