Dec 07 2007

Even Experts On Left Disagree With NIE And Fear Its Repercussions

Published by at 10:23 am under All General Discussions,Iran

The recent NIE on Iran’s nuclear weapons program (the NIE does confirm the program exists BTW, the question is whether it is still suspended from 2003) is turning out to be a huge political debacle. The LA Times is now noting that folks on the left are siding with Bush instead of the NIE!

Iran expert Ray Takeyh, a former professor at the National War College and National Defense University, said that although his own politics are left of the president’s, he agrees with Bush that Iran’s nuclear program is a continuing threat.

“The position I take is that President Bush is right on this,” said Takeyh, now at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Takeyh, who has long argued for engaging Iran in diplomacy, said the intelligence report was too easy on Tehran by not objecting to the uranium enrichment program, which many Western governments have alleged is meant to build the knowledge base to eventually develop nuclear weapons. The American intelligence agencies, in effect, accepted Iran’s contention that the enrichment is for peaceful purposes, Takeyh said.

Sharon Squassoni, a former government nuclear safeguards expert now with the generally liberal Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, noted that the intelligence report said Iran suspended its enrichment program in 2003 and later signed an agreement allowing U.N. inspections.

But, she said, the portion of the report made public was silent on the fact that the Iranians reversed both actions in 2006.

Gary Samore, who was a top arms control official in the Clinton White House, agreed that the National Intelligence Estimate did not adequately emphasize Iran’s continuing efforts to enrich uranium and build missiles.

“The halting of the weaponization program in 2003 is less important from a proliferation standpoint than resumption of the enrichment program in 2006,” said Samore, director of studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Samore said the report undermined Bush’s warnings about Iranian efforts to develop nuclear weapons and left Tehran in a strong position, allowing it to develop its enrichment capacity without a substantial challenge from the United States and its allies. The secret weaponization program is “on ice,” he said, but Iran preserves the option to resume that when it wishes.

Sounds like they think the NIE is too good to be true and conflicts or misses other indicators that Iran is behaving. Simple to resolve, Iran must prove it by opening up to international inspections – now.

Comments Off on Even Experts On Left Disagree With NIE And Fear Its Repercussions

Comments are closed.