Saturday, April 29, 2006

Fool me twice, shame on me
WaPo's Dafna Linzer provides context to her article on the IAEA report issued yesterday on Iran's nuclear activities.
Cary, N.C.: Why does not the media makes very clear to us that the Iranians are allowed to do what they are doing. So the mere suspicion message is published in such a way that the public tends to think the Iranians are building a nuclear bomb. Should not the media (and The Post) make it bold faced that the Iranians are allowed to enrich uranium for energy related use? Thank you.

Dafna Linzer: We haven't reported that the Iranians are building a bomb - we've reported that the administration says the Iranians are building a bomb. U.N. inspectors have no proof of that, but they also aren't getting full cooperation. We also report that Iran says it has no interest in building a bomb. A (sic) urge readers to take careful looks at the stories and the language that all players are using on this issue.

In response to the report today, for example, John Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said:

"I think if anything the IAEA report shows that Iran has accelerated its efforts to acquire nuclear weapons," but he then added: "although the report doesn't make any conclsusion in that regard."

I may be nitpicking, but the wording of her article surely gives the wrong impression that the IAEA slammed Iran:
The IAEA will include these findings, sources said, in what they characterized as a brief and highly negative report to be delivered today, the end of a 30-day deadline the Security Council set for Iran to stop enriching uranium until inspectors are confident the program is exclusively peaceful. (emphasis added)
Notice that "they" refer to the "sources," not the IAEA. Who are these sources? My guess is from the previous paragraph:
It remains unclear whether Iran managed to enrich a small quantity of uranium to a level of 3.5 percent, as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced April 11. That level would suffice for nuclear energy but is far too low for a weapons program, which the Bush administration contends Iran is clandestinely developing. (emphasis added)
Remember, the administration "had proof" on Iraqi WMDs. If the administration doesn't even try to "prove" Iranian nukes, I remain highly skeptical on the real proof of an imminent Iranian nuke threat. Professor Juan Cole is skeptical too. Read the IAEA report for yourself and draw your own conclusion.

With the IAEA report, we draw one step closer to "Operation Iranian Freedom." Reuters says Iran just offered to address the report's concerns (except for continuing the enrichment) if the UNSC drops the case back to IAEA. I'm skeptical that the administration will take Iran's offer.


  1. Blogger josh narins
    I belive, to some degree, the IAEA is playing into the Bush administration's hands on purpose.

    Read the actual IAEA reports, the IAEA has a special web page for viewing them here.

    However, the IAEA has not yet released its most recent report. Instead, it links to the BBC's unbalanced quotes.

    Check out the IAEA Board Report of 27 February (about 11 pages). It is entirely clear that the IAEA has no evidence, and is getting lots of co-operation from Iran. In fact, they are getting more co-operation than they are legally obliged to provide. This is in the report but the US (and allied) media simply present one side of the issue.

    How would the IAEA absolutely prove Iran had nothing going on? They'd have to view every square inch of Iran, simultaneously, to make sure it hadn't been moved. Since that will never happen, the IAEA will _never_ be able to definitely say that Iran is not working on the bomb.

    It's the same charade as last time.

    At least one semi-powerful think-tanker knows it, Ray Takeyh of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is their Iran expert, and he's quite reasonable. Dr. Jeffrey Lewis of blog is also quite good.

    But they aren't allowed to call John Bolton a warmongering fuck.
  2. Blogger josh narins
    That's so weird, the WSJ has published the IAEA report, but it isn't on the IAEA website.

    Thanks for the link.

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