Comments on the National Intelligence Estimate Report on Iran’s Nuclear Program.
The National Intelligence Council just issued a declassified 150 page National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report on Iran’s nuclear program. This is part of a larger intelligence report that is still classified. The most important point the report makes is that the authors believe that Iran shut down its nuclear weapons program in 2003 in response to international pressure.
Unfortunately, the conclusion is based on a single, uncorroborated source who provided information to a foreign intelligence service and who was not interviewed by the authors of this report.
By his own words, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is still supporting terror and bragging about its nuclear pursuits and capabilities. Most Western European countries, led by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, are still strongly convinced of the Iranian will to build a nuclear weapon, and are still supporting new sanctions against Iran despite the new NIE report that contains numerous ambiguities about Iran’s intentions and progress towards creating a bomb. In fact, buried within the report is a statement that Iran could potentially enrich enough bomb-grade uranium within 12 to 18 months, to create nuclear weapons.
It should also be noted that the National Intelligence Council, which produced the report, is chaired by Thomas Fingar, a State Department intelligence analyst with no known overseas experience. In March of this year, Fingar fired his top Cuba and Venezuela analyst, Norman Bailey, after Bailey warned of the growing alliance between Castro and Chavez, which we now know to be true.
If Iran isn’t developing a nuclear weapons capability , then why does it continue to violate international laws and hide its program from nuclear inspectors? Why do Iranian leaders risk more economic sanctions if they don’t have a weapons program? Why wouldn’t the Iranian government allow International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors full access to their sites if they weren’t pursuing nuclear weapons?
Iran claims to have 3,000 working centrifuges that could create enough fuel for a nuclear weapon within a year. Why would we think Iran’s nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes, when the president of Iran has said many times that he wants to dominate the world?
Iran has been identified as the world’s leading state sponsor of international terrorism, funding Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, and Hamas, as well as Shiite insurgent groups in Iraq. Radical Islamic fundamentalism, is one of the key dangers in the world today. The president of Iran continually boasts that he is creating an Islamic “superpower,” which will bring down the West, including the United States. What would happen to mankind if radical islamists had access to a nuclear weapon?
The Iranian president calls the Holocaust a ‘myth’ and frequently calls for the destruction of Israel and Western democracies. If we do not act, we run the risk of placating an extremist and making the same mistake we made with Hitler, which led to World War II and the deaths of millions. We must not become complacent and lulled into a false sense of security because of this 150 page declassified report, but we must remain committed to using more economic diplomacy and greater economic pressure, to help prevent a war.
I believe that the new NIE report is ambiguous , contradictory , and hardly reassuring. The one thing it does clearly state, however, is that Iran’s timeline for making a nuclear bomb has not changed.