NIE: Bush Is Full Of Bull WRT Iran
WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 — A new assessment by American intelligence agencies concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains on hold, contradicting an assessment two years ago that Tehran was working inexorably toward building a bomb.
Remember, Iran is allowed under the Non-Proliferation Treaty to have nuclear energy for domestic purposes, such as power plants. The amount of fissionable material needed for power generation is much, much smaller than that needed for weapons-making.
Oh, and the whole reason the Iranians have a nuclear program?
Get this: We gave it to them, twice — first in the 1950s, as part of the "Atoms for Peace" program under Eisenhower, and again under Ford in the 1970s:
In 1976, the Shah of Iran came to the United States, sent his representatives to intercede and say, “Look, we’ve done an analysis, and we’ve got a finite amount of oil. And right now we need to export it. And if we don’t export it, we don’t make money, etc. We don’t have enough oil to sustain this. We need to come up with an indigenous energy policy that frees up our oil for exportation. We want to use nuclear energy.” And the U.S. government went, “Good idea, Shah. We’re all for it.” That was Gerald Ford.
The chief of staff of the White House at the time was Dick Cheney. The Secretary of Defense was Donald Rumsfeld. So, this argument that both Cheney and Rumsfeld put out today that Iran is a nation awash in a sea of oil, there is no need for a nuclear energy program, they both supported Iran’s goals of achieving nuclear energy in 1976. Not only nuclear energy, but they also supported the Shah when he said, “We cannot allow a nuclear energy program’s fuel to be held hostage by the vagaries of sanctions and war. We need an indigenous fuel-manufacturing capability inclusive of the full uranium enrichment process.” And guess what the U.S. government said in 1976. “No problem, Shah. Good deal.” Of course, in 1979, the Islamists come in and suddenly we change our opinion. The bottom line is, Iran has every right legally to a nuclear energy program, and economically, we’ve already deemed it a responsible way to go.
Sounds like the United States intel community, regardless of what it thinks of Iran’s current rulers, would rather trust them than Dick Cheney or the rest of the PNAC Platoon.