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17 January 2016

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William R. Cumming

Footnote: Always wondered if the extensive Iranian ex-pat community in the DC metro area mined for intel? Many rug dealers talk often to their relatives in Iran!

At least three from which I purchased rugs.

Ron

I still have yet to see any EVIDENCE that Iran had an active nuclear weapons program before 2003. My understanding is that the info which led the US to believe that Iran had a nuclear weapons program was from a laptop computer that was procured from Israeli sources.

Andy

Here's a link to the unclassified Key Judgments from 2007 NIE:

http://www.isisnucleariran.org/assets/pdf/2007_Iran_NIE.pdf

The word used, which I bet was specifically chosen, is "halted." I do not think the community judgement changed significantly in the period since; however, given that Iran agreed to significant oversight of its future nuclear activities, it's clear Iran has no intention to pursue nuclear weapons for the foreseeable future. It would be very difficult for Iran to successfully pursue a covert program with this verification regime combined with all the Western intelligence resources that will continue to monitor Iran going forward. I'm sure there are past weaponization activities that were not discovered (references to them were leaked to the press and are mentioned in IAEA reports). The IAEA has, wisely, decided to let those sleeping dogs lie. Deterring a future Iranian weapons effort is much more important and a complete accounting of past activity.

I also agree with PL that Iran's pre-2003 program was a response to Iraq's WMD programs, particularly their nuclear program. Once Iraq ceased to be any kind of threat to Iran the strategic rationale for a nuclear weapons program disappeared.

turcopolier

Andy

IMO it is important to know how much of all this on both sides was BS. pl

different clue

A Pols

I thought I remember a while ago a post and thread concluding that given the laws Pollard was sentenced under, and his subsequent behavior in prison, that eligibility for parole and/or the rundown of the sentence was a legally inevitable event at some point. So perhaps he is being released because the law requires it at this point, and nobody benefits but Pollard himself.

If the government wants to place conditions on his paroled release such as no foreign travel for some years, I believe I read that that can be done.

mbrenner

"the Iranians may possess finished or nearly finished nuclear weapons design technology"

Just go to the library and look in the text books. Sorry to spoil the fun, but this is not 1947.

turcopolier

mbrenner

Quite so, the level of the IO nonsense must be established. pl

Babak Makkinejad

I think Siege of Vienna, had it been successful, would still not have opened Europe to the Ottoman Empire.

Rather like the occupation of Tabriz, the Ottoman armies would have bivouacked there for a bit and then leave for Anatolia. But not before setting Vienna on fire, just like they did twice in Tabriz.

Vienna, like Tabriz, would have been too far and too costly to keep.

ex-PFC Chuck

There was also the Umayyad invasion of Gaul in the early 8th century.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umayyad_invasion_of_Gaul

Chris Chuba

An excerpt from the U.N. report.

http://iranprimer.usip.org/blog/2015/dec/02/un-report-past-nuclear-activities
"The Agency assesses that a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device were conducted in Iran prior to the end of 2003 as a coordinated effort, and some activities took place after 2003. The Agency also assesses that these activities did not advance beyond feasibility and scientific studies, and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities."

"Although some activities took place after 2003, they were not part of a coordinated effort."

I would call this minimal.

Thirdeye

The article seems to be an attempt to save face for those who beat the war drums only to be discredited. But the real issue wasn't Iran acquiring nuclear weapons at all. It was simply a pretext for destroying Iran, either quickly by military means or slowly by economic means. Some tried desperately to keep the pretext alive for the slow death option. Now they're out in the cold, with even chillier winds blowing their way from Iraq and Syria.

doug

One of the more interesting things to me is how apparently accurate the 2007 CIE turned out to be. I recall at the time what a fit Cheney, McCain and the general neocon community had since it took some of the hot air out of the bomb Iran crowd. Still, it stated that the longer the nuclear issues with Iran remained, the risk would increase that they would re-start the weapons program. In many ways it appears the sanctions and eventual negotiations were consistent with the CIE. At least the public part that we all saw.

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