Not to rain on the hawks' parade, but apparently Iran stopped nuclear weapons production back in 2003.
In a blow to Bush administration hawks demanding military strikes on Iran, a US intelligence report reveals that Tehran's secret nuclear weapons programme was shut down four years ago.Perhaps peaceful means such as diplomacy and sanctions (creating political pressures within a country) work after all.
The finding which has come as a surprise to friends and foes of the US concluded: "We do not know whether [Iran] currently intends to develop nuclear weapons." That is in sharp contrast to an intelligence report two years ago that stated Iran was "determined to develop nuclear weapons".
US officials said the report showed that the Bush administration was right to conclude that Tehran intends to develop nuclear weapons in the long term. They also said that Iran was forced to end its secret programme because of financial sanctions and diplomacy backed up with the threat of force.
The report is sure to cause a stir within the hawkish White House, but the NIE did put in a few good words about the Bush administration, just to ease the strain of conflicting views.
Here are some facts about the National Intelligence Estimate report.
President Bush, after spending years raising the hype around Iran's nuclear program, found a way to twist the tension-relieving report into just another warning about the Iranian threat. Never mind the evidence his jousts with Iran over nukes have been relying on have been pulled out from under him; I am sure hawks are not too pleased either with the recent intelligence report.
If anything it is good news that there is less pressure on all parties to make a move in the Iran nuke stalemate. But even though Iran may have stopped developing nuclear weapons for now, it's good to keep up the pressure, says a Guardian commentator. Iran may have suspended its program, but that doesn't mean it cannot, or will not, start it up again. What Bush predicted as WWIII with Iran seems very unlikely at this point.