- Anti-Iranian rhetoric and saber rattling is one thing,
baseless accusations another if serve as pretext for aggressive war.
- Whether or not it's coming isn't known. Heated tensions
are worrisome if boil over. Leaked information on an imminent IAEA report
may or may not precipitate it even though what's coming lacks credibility.
- During his tenure as IAEA director general (December
1, 1997 - November 30, 2009), Mohamed ElBaradei carefully avoided anti-Iranian
rhetoric and baseless charges. Numerous times he discounted a potential
threat with comments like:
- People should stop claiming "Iran will be a threat
from tomorrow and that we are faced right now with the issue of whether
Iran should be bombed or allowed to have the bomb. We are not at all in
that situation. Iran is a glaring example of how, in many cases, the use
of force exacerbates the problem rather than (solves) it."
- Referring to "extreme people (with) extreme views,"
he once said "you do not want to give additional argument to some
of the 'new crazies' who want to say let us go and bomb Iran."
- He said "Israel would be utterly crazy to attack
Iran." The same holds for America, Britain, and/or France. Doing so
would "turn the region into a ball of fire and put Iran on a crash
course for nuclear weapons with the support of the whole Muslim world."
- He believes nonproliferation "lost its legitimacy
in the eyes of Arab public opinion because of the perceived double standard"
on Israel, a known nuclear power.
- He called claims about Iran developing nuclear weapons
"overestimated. Some even play it up intentionally."
- During and after his tenure, ElBaradei took lots of flack
for his comments. Repeatedly he said no evidence suggests an Iranian nuclear
- As a result, Washington and Western allies replaced him
with Yukiya Amano, known to be more amenable to their interests. Six ballots
and heavy pressure eliminated South Africa's Abdul Samad Minty.
- Amano hasn't disappointed, providing conjecture, dubious
intelligence, and fabricated allegations about an alleged Iranian nuclear
program. Suggesting one exists without evidence could "turn the region
into a fireball" as ElBaradei warned.
- Nonetheless, in February 2010, Amano issued dubious material
suggesting "possible military dimensions" to Iran's nuclear program.
No evidence proved it, just unsubstantiated conjecture and undocumented
- Many claims then and perhaps now were supposedly found
on a laptop smuggled out of Iran. Whether it exists isn't known, or if
"laptop" is code language for one or more unnamed sources. Alleged
documents weren't made public. If they exist, their authenticity is very
- On November 6, Washington Post writer Joby Warrick headlined,
"IAEA says foreign expertise has brought Iran to the threshold of
nuclear capability," saying:
- Alleged intelligence "shows that Iran's government
has mastered the critical steps needed to build a nuclear weapon, receiving
assistance from foreign scientists to overcome key technical hurdles, according
to (unnamed) Western diplomats and nuclear experts briefed on the findings."
- Former Soviet nuclear expert Vyacheslav Danilenko "allegedly
tutored Iranians over several years on building high-precision detonators
of the kind used to trigger a nuclear chain reaction, the officials said."
Pakistani and North Korean involvement was also claimed.
- Danilenko acknowledged assisting in civilian engineering
projects unrelated to weapons development. Unsubstantiated allegations
- Other "secret" sources were also cited, disputing
evidence a previous article provided as follows:
- In December 2007, America's National Intelligence Estimate
- "We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003,
Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program; (perhaps it never had one);
we also assess with moderate-to-high confidence that Tehran at a minimum
is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons..."
- True or not, dozens of nations may consider them, for
defense, not offense, in a hostile world. American and Israeli nuclear
arsenals and other destructive weapons pose enormous threats - less because
they exist; mostly because of stated intentions to use them.
- The NIE also said:
- "We assess with moderate confidence Tehran had not
restarted its nuclear program as of mid-2007, but we do not know whether
it currently intends to develop (them)."
- "Tehran's decision to halt its nuclear weapons program
suggests it is less determined to develop (them) than we have been judging
- In February 2010, America's Annual Threat Assessment
of the US Intelligence Community for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
- "We do not know....if Iran will eventually decide
to build nuclear weapons." No evidence of an ongoing program was presented.
- In March 2011, the US Intelligence Community Worldwide
Threat Assessment for the Senate Armed Services Committee said precisely
the same thing. Nothing new suggested an Iranian nuclear weapons program.
- Nonetheless, baseless IAEA allegations claim "secret
intelligence....reinforce(s) concerns" about Iranian nuclear weapons
development. Views pro and con are circulating. Some US arms control groups
cautioned about exaggerating an unknown risk.
- Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran's Foreign Minister and former
top nuclear official, said IAEA's agenda is "100 percent political."
It's "under pressure from foreign powers" to target Iran.
- Its alleged intelligence and other sources aren't named.
That alone makes them suspect.
- On November 6, New York Times writers David Sanger and
William Broad headlined, "US Hangs Back as Inspectors Prepare Report
on Iran's Nuclear Program, " saying:
- Making "the case is hardly conclusive....And however
suggestive the evidence about what (IAEA) calls 'possible military dimensions'
of Iran's program turns out to be, the only sure bet is that the mix of
sleuthing, logic and intuition by nuclear investigators will be endlessly
compared with American intelligence agencies' huge mistake" about
- Unmentioned was Times writer Judith Miller's lead role,
hyping them daily in front page features. She functioned duplicitously
as a Pentagon press agent, and never apologized for lying.
- On November 7, Press TV said senior Iranian cleric Ayatollah
Seyyed Ahmad Khatami called IAEA head Amano a spineless US tool. Publishing
fabricated documents about an alleged Iranian nuclear threat undermines
the agency's credibility. Under Amano, it has none.
- Appearing Sunday on ABC's "This Week," former
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Washington should consider tougher
penalties against Iran's government and do "everything we can to bring
- Russia Today (RT.com) reported that Russian Foreign Minister
Sergey Lavrov warned against attacking Iran, saying:
- Military solutions won't solve international conflicts.
"We get evidence to that every day when we see how problems around
Iran are being solved: whether it's in Iraq or Afghanistan or what is happening
in other countries of that region."
- University of Tehran Professor Seyed Mohammad Marandi
told RT that Israel's hostile rhetoric "is to put pressure on Iran
and also (on) other countries - independent (ones) like China, Russia and
others - to agree with new sanctions by sort of portraying (Iran) as a
mad dog, attack dog that needs to be somehow controlled, so that if they
agree to new sanctions, something bad will be prevented from happening."
- There's a "general trend to corner Iran." IAEA's
report lacks credibility. It's "based on forged documents. There is
absolutely nothing new in (them). All the documents (are) from 2004 and
before. And (former IAEA head) ElBaradei's assessment was completely"
opposite what Yamano says based on the same information. "All these
documents have been refuted in the past."
- Yet political Washington, Israeli hard-liners, and complicit
media scoundrels hype them. They also bogusly claim Iranian President Armadinejad
wants Israel "wiped off the map."
- He, in fact, believes Israel's belligerence is self-destructive.
Others share that view, including about America. Countries living by sword
sooner or later die by it.
- At issue now is cooling tensions to prevent what no one
but crazed militarists want - destabilizing the entire region and risking
general war by attacking Iran and/or Syria. Preventing it is crucial.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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