WASHINGTON — Even as the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog said in a new report Friday that Iran had accelerated its uranium enrichment program, American intelligence analysts continue to believe that there is no hard evidence that Iran has decided to build a nuclear bomb. Recent assessments by American spy agencies are broadly consistent with a 2007 intelligence finding that concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program years earlier, according to current and former American officials. The officials said that assessment was largely reaffirmed in a 2010 National Intelligence Estimate, and that it remains the consensus view of America’s 16 intelligence agencies.

In Senate testimony on Jan. 31, James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, stated explicitly that American officials believe that Iran is preserving its options for a nuclear weapon, but said there was no evidence that it had made a decision on making a concerted push to build a weapon. David H. Petraeus, the C.I.A. director, concurred with that view at the same hearing. Other senior United States officials, including Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have made similar statements in recent television appearances.

“They are certainly moving on that path, but we don’t believe they have actually made the decision to go ahead with a nuclear weapon,” Mr. Clapper told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Critics of the American assessment in Jerusalem and some European capitals point out that Iran has made great strides in the most difficult step toward building a nuclear weapon, enriching uranium. They also criticize the C.I.A. for being overly cautious in its assessments of Iran, suggesting that it is perhaps overcompensating for its faulty intelligence assessments in 2002 about Iraq’s purported weapons programs, which turned out not to exist. In addition, Israeli officials have challenged the very premise of the 2007 intelligence assessment, saying they do not believe that Iran ever fully halted its work on a weapons program.

Dang, I guess we haven’t tortured enough of them brown people yet.

  1. Dr Spearmint Fur says:

    I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

  2. But… but… but… we must restore democracy in Iran… LOL

  3. Nobody says:

    So places that actually have nukes, like Pakistan and N Korea are safe – places that don’t have nukes, like Iraq and Afghanistan get fscked

    so what should a country do ?????

    • Brian says:

      Great. The intelligence experts reassure us. I guess we can expect a rudimentary nuclear strike on Israel before summer, then.

      Hey, I am not advocating any kind of “pre-emptive” strike on Iran at all (at least not the visible kind), but…
      Of the three countries you’ve mentioned, I’m only aware of one of them making crazy, radical threats about trying to wipe an entire nation, entire ethnicity of the face of the earth. I honestly think that they’d be crazy enough to try something if they had real access to even a single nuke. With all of the superpower alignment that’s been going on in the past few weeks/months/years/decades, such an action would spark WWIII (which more than a whole generation doesn’t consider an imminent, much less tangible, threat and so aren’t even considering factors that might lead to it). No sane person could argue that it’s considerably less of a realistic or imminent threat than a political assassination by the Black Hand, and look how that wound up.

      • LibertyLover says:

        The whole purpose of destroying Israel is so Muslims can live there.

        If they nuke it (destroying all of the holy sites in the process, I might add), ain’t nobody gonna live there for a long, long time.

        Iran will not turn themselves into the pariah of Islam by nuking the third most sacred city in Islam.

        • Cursor_ says:

          Hence why they will not do that.

          Their leaders are not idiots and they fear death just as much as anyone else does.

          It was what kept the Chinese, Soviets and Americans from pushing the button. Even in 62.


  4. Buzz Mega says:

    Picking a “preemptive” war with Iraq: the deepest, darkest, most contemptible moment in all of American history.

    We liked it so much, we’re willing to change one letter and do it again?

    Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid.

    Did I mention that it is a dumb idea?

  5. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and Junior Social Critic says:

    Whether you are for or against whatever you are for or against, isn’t the conclusion of this sentence negated by the begining of the sentence: “Even as the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog said in a new report Friday that Iran had accelerated its uranium enrichment program, American intelligence analysts continue to believe that there is no hard evidence that Iran has decided to build a nuclear bomb.” /// ie==the logic is very much like: “If we remove all the evidence, there is no evidence.”

    In full quote, I’ve heard the statement that Iran is making more enriched uranium than it needs for all non nuke bomb purposes.

    2. Why doesn’t Iran allow Nuke Facility Inspections?
    3. Why is Iran burying its Nuke facilities in mountains?
    4. Why are the Nuke facilities not located logically to where the power generation/distribution network is?

    What does the phrase there is no evidence that “IRAN HAS DECIDED TO BUILD” even mean?

    I don’t care what you think or why but shouldn’t we all have an automatic reaction to the stench of BS?

    Ha, ha. Besides, the relevant question is what should we do when Israel asks for our support, or when Israel attacks and Iran reacts however they do?

    Where did I put that KY?

  6. dusanmal says:

    “Even as the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog said in a new report Friday that Iran had accelerated its uranium enrichment program, American intelligence analysts continue to believe that there is no hard evidence that Iran has decided to build a nuclear bomb” – result of political correctness larger than the one of already nutty UN. Political correctness is the point where US is losing its recent wars.
    As to “intelligence agencies” – please state one and even just one reason why would a country spend enormous resources to bury their nuclear program under ground so far that no current conventional weapon can reach it – if it is peaceful energy program?
    As for “brown people” by McC’ – guess what these particular brown people consider themselves to be and what they enjoy reading about (book sales figures: Main Kampf) and emulating. Ever heard of word “Arian”…?

    • McCullough says:

      Big deal, I’ve read Main Kampf (Mein Kampf)….haven’t you? Does that make me an evil Arian (Aryan)?

      As for naming one intelligence agency, I suggest you actually read the article.

      • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

        You know what the root of Iran is? Its Persian for Aryan. The Iranians claim to be the first and best Aryan stock. Its part to whole of the reason why so many Iranian nutballs read and admire Hitler and with the benefit of the doubt, just a coincidence they hate the Jews.

        I think dismal was being sarcastic about the intelligence of intelligence agencies, not the number of them==that not one explains the location of the facilities. I have to assume that as my fast skim of the link didn’t reveal that detail.

        One can’t choose whether to be or not to be an Aryan, but choosing to be evil seems to come pretty easily.

    • jpfitz says:

      If you were the leader of Iran would you build in plain sight or bury a nuclear plant? And your right about the brown people. White as a ghost those Iranians.

      • Holdfast says:

        It depends on where you look.

        If you look up north and select someone whose ancestors all came from there pre-Islam, they are pretty pale.

        If you look down south where there are a lot more people of Arab descent then they are darker.

  7. Yaknow says:

    It’s all pre-game babble, aye. What hosers actually can play aye, when they make their first weapons test than we join in on the bitch slapping partay for those nut cases that lead the country.

  8. honeyman says:

    It is completely obvious that the whole ‘nuke’ justification for war is bogus. Iran is a sovereign country with the right to defend itself. The more the Iranian leaders feel threatened, the more they will prepare for war, possibly even building nukes.

    Any war will be a smash and grab operation like Iraq, with some nice geopolitical and economic benefits for the US and Britain and their corporate sponsors. The military industrial complex is salivating at this prospect, as are the chickenshit politicians who see the opportunity of blood for votes.

    This is the disgusting and immoral behavior of savages with no regard for the truth.

  9. Mac Guy says:

    No WMDs… yet.

    Everybody wants to keep up with the Joneses.

  10. jpfitz says:

    It appears most comments on DU are of the same mind, Iran is not a threat at this moment. My fear is of Israel. She may engage and drag America in.

    • Animby says:

      And does that mean you think US foreign policy should be based on what DU posters think?

      • jpfitz says:

        Sometimes the consensus here is at the least well thought out. I think experts in foreign affairs who have nothing to gain from military action should advise tptb. But lol on DU posters making policy.

      • McCullough says:

        US Foreign policy should be based on what the constituents think, absolutely. Are we not paying for this crap?

        That’s they way it was meant to be from the beginning.

  11. Cursor_ says:

    We went through this same crap with Pakistan in the 70s even moving to block Pakistan in many ways from obtaining weapons grade materials.

    Well that worked out peachy didn’t it?

    Did the same to India as well.

    That worked equally as well.

    So now Iran wants a turn. And guess what? The US is once again trying to be the gatekeeper at the nuke party.

    In the end all nations that want them will have them. You cannot stop it.

    But you can moderate the political climate like we did during the cold war.


    • Dr Spearmint Fur says:

      The current Iraqi government needs to keep the US and Israel as the scary enemy to stay in power. It’s the only lever they have left with their own people.

      • Holdfast says:

        Perhaps you mean Iranian?

        The main lever that the people running Iran have is the fact that they are nasty and violent and have lots of rough people working for them.

        • Dr Spearmint Fur says:

          You are entirely correct. Thanks for pointing out my error.

        • Cursor_ says:

          The Iranian government is much smaller than their population.

          But until the Iranian people get over their fear and stand up for themselves like others are doing all over, their government is safe.

          But the time is coming. If Syria falls you know that Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Iran will not be far behind.

          It is now only a matter of time. That is why the Fahds helped stave off revolution in Bahrain last year.


  12. ECA says:

    Whats the problem??
    there is 1 REAL problem in Iran..and it means the MOST..

    WHO is in charge? WHO controls, WHOM?
    there are MANY factions in IRAN.
    Making such a weapon MAKES available to ACCESS.. And WHO do you let have access…TRY to figure out WHO will listen to YOU and not stab you in the back by helping SOME ODD BALL religious Leader..
    The Word RADICAL is abit conservative for the situation there.
    get the heads and such from EACH religious group in the USA into 1 room, to decide on a Fundamental BASIS for a book of the NEW bible.
    IT WONT WORK…this is the problem in IRAN.

  13. NewfornatSux says:

    India detonated its nukes when Clinton was President.

    All this CIA assessment is saying is that they have no evidence Iran has developed nukes, just that they are using advanced centrifuges to stockpile higher and higher levels of uranium, which puts them that much closer to building nukes. Didn’t this site put up a post that Iran was 10 years away from having nukes, according to intelligence agencies. Well now at least half that time period is gone. The next presidential term will be the end of that ten year timeframe. Aren’t you glad you mocked those Bush warmongers.

  14. bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

    NewfornatSux says:
    2/25/2012 at 9:37 pm

    India detonated its nukes when Clinton was President. /// So, they were developed earlier? Am I making my facts up?==No, just not checking my hazy memory for the details.

    All this CIA assessment is saying is that they have no evidence Iran has developed nukes, just that they are using advanced centrifuges to stockpile higher and higher levels of uranium, which puts them that much closer to building nukes. /// Exactly, supposedly this is the most difficult part of the bomb==as if a dirty bomb doesn’t even count?

    Didn’t this site put up a post that Iran was 10 years away from having nukes, according to intelligence agencies. Well now at least half that time period is gone. // As good a guess as any.

    The next presidential term will be the end of that ten year timeframe. Aren’t you glad you mocked those Bush warmongers. /// Too many of those Bush warmongers were a too easily herded group of Dumbo Congress Creeps. Afraid not to be bellicose and manly==same lack of back bones and morals that gives the USA the highest incarceration rate of any first world nation.

    Truly, we do it to ourselves.

  15. sargasso_c says:

    Intelligence is never used in the way expected.

  16. ECA says:

    I hate to say this..But, not even THINKING about the NEWS channels.
    TV makes us IMAGINATIVE and PARANOID..
    think about it.
    We can Watch EVERY DAY and get NEW excitement and Danger..
    As 1 person mentioned…1 years TV, is like a WHOLE LIFE of experiences, CRAMMED into 52 weeks, 365 days…
    LIFE isnt that complicated.
    LIFE, GENERALLY takes years to unfold..

    I will say 1 REAL thing. And North Korea found this out ALSO..
    MAKE the material..MAKE the bomb.. NOW try to get it some place.
    1. radioactivity can be registered VERY easily..and in Minute doses.. Get a radiation exam, and watch the BLACK VAN pass you…
    2. DELIVERY, is a pain. TRY testing an ICBM…intercontinental ballistic missile.. the ONLY way to test it…is to FIRE a few.
    IF’ you can get past 1000 miles…YOU WILL HAVE EVERY COUNTRY around you..ready to SHOOT YOU.. REALLY. NOW…try to get 12,000 miles..to the USA.
    3. the EASY way is the HARDEST…try to get 200+ pounds of Isolated in LEAD, radioactive material…TO the USA.

    NOW, there might be a way…
    LINE ALL of a 747 with powdered Materials…FLY IT from certain locations, NOT CHECKED…
    BUT, we DO have satellite surveillance OVER ALL the middle east. and Radioactive materials SHOW UP REAL GOOD, esp in a PLANE. unless you want it made out of LEAD..

    USE abit of logic here folks..and wait for that LEAD BALLOON..

    • Hmeyers2 says:

      Personally, I think using random capitalization makes your posts harder to read and probably less likely to be read as a result.

      But maybe that’s just me …

    • Hmeyers2 says:

      Doesn’t the end of your scenario go like this:

      “then Iran becomes a parking lot”.

      Why would Iran want to become a parking lot?

      • Hmeyers2 says:

        I guess what I am saying, one bomb used against the United States or the West by Iran isn’t going to destroy the United States or the West.

        50 bombs wouldn’t do that.

        And 100 bombs wouldn’t stop retaliation, the United States and Western military assets are all around the globe and in submarines and such.

        Surely the use of a nuclear weapon is going to effectively end the existence of any country that initiated such an attack …

        And said leaders of such a rogue country will be dead or out of power.

        So the leaders of this rogue country secretly have the desire to destroy themselves or get themselves out of power?

        • Animby says:

          The wonderful ting about Iran is they believe this massive destruction would just bring about the fulfillment of allah’s plan on earth. In fact, they believe it is their duty to do it!

          If Iran did nuke Israel, then Israel might send a few nukes back. But, I doubt that the US would. We have such powerful “conventional” weapons that we can take out a major city without leaving behind a glass slag heap.

          A couple of fuel-air bombs dropped on Tehran would pretty much end the history of the city. And you never hear much about neutron bombs, anymore. Kill everything without destroying anything. Keep the oil wells pumping.

          Sending them an EMP wpi;d just drop them back into the stone age but they might see that as a blessing. Hmmm, under shari’a law, are women allowed to ride camels?

  17. remember911 says:

    Are these intelligence experts the same ones that had no idea that the 9-11 attacks were coming?

    We know we can trust the experts, right?

    • Hmeyers2 says:

      Intelligence experts in Summer of 2001 did have the idea that an attack was coming.

      I remember hearing it on CNN in June 2001.

      This was part of why the intelligence community was under attack after 9/11.

      And why that communications wall implemented during the Clinton administration that prevented inter-agency cooperation was killed post 9/11.

      All the intelligence existed to prevent 9/11.

  18. Topmounter says:

    We’ve come such a long way in 10 years.

    Iran in HD will be far superior to Iraq in SD.

    The ratings will be outstanding.

  19. Shawn C says:

    Alright, everybody calm down. Iran is not building a nuclear weapon. According to our intelligence agencies they haven’t even made a decision to build one or not. U.N. nuclear inspectors are still allowed to visit their nuke facilities and cameras placed in those facilities by the inspectors are working and have not been tampered with. Iran, which has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty has the right under that treaty to enrich uranium. Let’s all back off here and ask ourselves just why the Obama administration has been beating the war drums so loudly. Could it be that our president, like the president before him has decided that his chances of being re-elected will go way up if there is a conflict with some middle eastern country come October? If Obama has decided this he will find plenty of republican and democrat war-mongers on his side and he will win. I feel very sorry for the citizens of Iran who are suffering now due to sanctions imposed by the U.S. (for no reason) and who will surely suffer more if we attack with the full force of our military, they won’t stand a chance.

    Finally let me point you to this article from The Danger Room, published just a couple of days ago.


  20. ECA says:

    Lets get a few things straight..

    USA Gov helps pay for EXPLORATION for oil..
    USA gets most of its oil from the Americas..Canada, South america, then SOME from the USA..
    We are assisting BP, and a few others get PIPELINES in other nations for MORE oil/gas from the middle east..(?)
    The Main contributor to this FUN, is BP..they are the Major distributor for the USA and Europe.

    So, we are paying BP, for exploration as well as a war?

  21. deowll says:

    I was right way back when in thanking Iraq most likely didn’t have any meaningful weapons of mass destruction. I thought they might have some chlorine gas because that is ultra easy to make but that is hardly a super weapon.

    My money is on Iran just about having the bomb. They didn’t build those underground fortresses for nothing.

    • Holdfast says:

      They built them because a country that has started an illegal war nearby is now looking at them with a view to doing it to them.

      • NewfornatSux says:

        People need to make up their mind. We are told they are no where close to having a bomb, and have no intention of building one, and also that they are forced into building one by an aggressive enemy.

  22. tnp says:

    The business of America is, and always has been, business. We have had , and should maintain the flexibility to do business with anyone, and any country regardless of their leadership. If they want a bomb, they should have the best bomb available, and that is one from the good ol’ U.S. of A. We should sell them what they want. It’s good business, and good for business.

  23. Dr_Wally says:

    Just for a second, put down your flaming torches and answer a simple question: So what if Iran gets a nuclear weapon? What are they going to do with it? Let’s just say they get one, and somehow drop it on Tel Aviv, it’s not a dud and a huge number of people get killed. Undoubtedly a tragedy. Then what happens? Dozens of Israeli planes take off / missiles launch and rain nuclear weapons on Iran’s cities, incinerating millions. We probably help them do it, short of dropping our own hydrogen bombs.

    I don’t see that as an Iranian victory. We have lived with this situation in North Korea for years. Their leader is just as big a lunatic, has more than one or two weapons, and the destruction of South Korea would be a much bigger hit to our economy and the world’s. No one seems to be screaming to invade North Korea. Pakistan / India is a similar situation.

    So Iran becomes the latest member of the nuclear club. And they have a weapon they don’t dare use. Just like the rest of the members.

    Remember, from everybody else’s perspective — the US is the only country to have actually used nuclear weapons against cities.

  24. bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

    Dr Wally–so you are willing to assume rationality on the part of Iran huh? Then you pose: “So what if Iran gets a nuclear weapon? What are they going to do with it? Let’s just say they get one, and somehow drop it on Tel Aviv……I don’t see that as an Iranian victory.” /// Yea verily.

    YOU KNOW: having a collection of witty saying, bon mots, and aphorisms is a dull wits short cut to wisdom. Here is one of my favorites: “There are no winners in war. The only question is what is left?” Then, who was it who said sumting like “I don’t know what the outcome of WW3 will be but WW4 will be fought with sticks and stones?”

    Dr Wally–what are the odds that EVERY nation that builds a nuke capability will be rational about its use? Would that nation also be describes as being led by a small circle of old men with access to Nuke Bomb Safe retreats, a fervent faith in their bible, and an religious and cultural antagonism to a Jewish State?

    Then after all that, what prevents “rational” players from thinking maybe they can do a sneak attack using a ship or truck and have the event untraceable?

    Then after all that, what prevents “elements’ within the government and military to be nuts and gain hold of a Nuke for their own purposes?

    Then after all that, what prevenst every other marginal State Actor to get their own Nukes==you know, to keep up with the Hated Persians?

    To your own way of thinking: what in the world does North Korea tell us anything relevant about Iran? We don’t know what NK might do in the future–every new totalitarian stooge for the military hunta is different from the next.

    If you were a religious maniac, had your finger on the button, and were at the end of your days with just a touch of mental impairment of all the types that affect the aged, and the religious, and those who have been in power unopposed for decades, RIGHT AFTER some young up and coming whipper snapper said you had dirty stains on your sheets, what might you do?

    Not a “certainty”–just a might??

    Speaking of clever sayings, what does the phrase “Never Again” mean to you? What do you think it means to your average Jew? How about Jewish Leader? How about Jewish Leader who has fought 3-4 wars against their neighbors who want to whip them from the face of the earth?

    Answer me this: why is Israel so freaking patient?

    • jpfitz says:

      Bobbo, I realize you’re not asking me the above question, but let me say that Israel is not a patient nation. She will attack Iran, I’m saying her mind is made up and bombs will fall onto Iran before this summer. Mark my words. I really hope I am wrong.

      • jpfitz says:

        Bobbo, maybe you’re being sarcastic.

        • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

          jp–I encourage you and everyone else to answer any post/question that catches your fancy. Aren’t we all talking thru one another to our imagined audiences? You Know: like my question to Dr Wally is actually meant for Israel?

          But to your butt inski==NO!–I’m not being sarcastic at all.

          “Why is Israel being so patient?” //// If they were the GOUSA being missled by Candada or Mixico==how long before we would turn them into a parking lot? Yet when our own ox/national security is not threatened, we are very comfortable telling others to take the risk so our oil is not disturbed?

          Now here is some sarcasm: “Aren’t we great?”

  25. Cgp says:

    Surely Americans know what you can do with 20 per cent enriched uranium rods in reactors that do not produce power?

    Denial of a problem is what gets us in real trouble down the road.
    Read Churchill.

    Does not Israel had the right to determine its own chances of survival? They need to get the job done ASAP.

    We are in for some interesting TV.

  26. jpfitz says:

    AP reports Israel won’t warn US before Iran strike. Time to reign in Israel, and to stop giving her billions and arms.

  27. Glenn E. says:

    I’m still waiting for the next WMD scare propaganda idea, such as Iran having nuke making tractor trailers that can be moved around the country, and assembled into a working plant in minutes. They tried sell us that b#llsh!t with Iran, and roaming chemical weapon plants. As if three or four of these things, plumped together, could make a substantial amount of WMD chemical agents. Without endangering its operators. Even less likely (far less) is the idea that a nuclear bomb making facility could be slapped together, anytime anywhere, to produce nukes. So that UN inspectors couldn’t easily spot them. The operators and scientists would have to be suicidal to work in such facilities.

    And it’s not just he UN nuclear inspectors watching. The NRO is watching from orbiting satellites, everything that’s being build. And for what likely purpose. Pretty hard to be sneaky about making nukes, when HD cameras are peering down at you 24/7, from above.

    I believe all this latest WMD propaganda is about, concerns derailing policy to reduce nuclear weapon making and stockpiling, in the US. We have treated reductions. And I guess the only way to justify violation, is to claim other world hotspots are gearing up for a nuke battle. So the US can’t be caught with anything less than umpteen thousands of them.

    And BTW, just think of all the power plants that could have been made from all the nuclear material the US has wasted on warheads, that sit idle, never to be used. Not that I’m pro-nuclear power plant. Especially after Three Mile Island and Japan’s ongoing disaster. But the US obvious chose military arms strength over energy independence, for the last several decades. Only to fight wars in the Middle East to preserve the flow of foreign oil. Basically, that’s double dipping by the DoD.

  28. ECA says:

    1. trucking ANYTHING with radioactive material will BE NOTICED.. We have sats, that can measure it, in space..
    2. TRYING to get the material into the USA or many other countries, Is STUPID. There are detectors at many locations from country to country..
    3. there are a few stories of People who have had radioactive radiation therapy.. and been STOPPED by certain BLACK Vans.. go read up on it.
    4. TRY getting anything radio active near an international airport.
    5. LEAD is not a GREAT storage medium for Radioactive material. 1 LB of material would need LOTS of LEAD to protect you from DIEING..esp the REAL HOT MATERIALS.. want to Pilot that in a Private airplane?? the shortest route?? South america?? Go for it.. try siberia to alaska…I dont think you will make it.

    You REALLY want to be paranoid??
    Think about getting into the USA and making something HERE..
    Rot some RICE or even Mistreat an animal so he get REAL sick..
    Get some Blood and get trichinosis going..run around a few markets and spread it..

    Back on subject..
    TRY to get a ICBM program going..IT aint easy, and EVERYONE within 5000 miles will NOTICE. And make a TARGET of yourself..


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