As I noted on Thursday, the “sport” of predicting when Israel will attack Iran has now moved from the progressive blogosphere to many conventional news outlets. This week will see a major escalation in the anti-Iran rhetoric after the release of a much-anticipated report on Iran from the International Atomic Energy Agency. Many news outlets already are saying this report will be damning for Iran. Today, the Washington Post devotes front-page prominence to its “scoop” of details expected to be contained in the report. The title for the article, which seems meant to be read with breathless fear, is “IAEA says foreign expertise has brought Iran to threshold of nuclear capability”.
Here is the how the Post article opens:
Intelligence provided to U.N. nuclear officials shows that Iran’s government has mastered the critical steps needed to build a nuclear weapon, receiving assistance from foreign scientists to overcome key technical hurdles, according to Western diplomats and nuclear experts briefed on the findings.
So, outsiders have provided assistance to Iran so that they have “mastered key steps needed to build a nuclear weapon”. But, if we dig a bit deeper in the article, we have a little more detail on just what these “key steps” are. The Post seems to be relying almost exclusively on information provided by David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security, a non-partisan organization concentrating on nonproliferation:
Albright said IAEA officials, based on the totality of the evidence given to them, have concluded that Iran “has sufficient information to design and produce a workable implosion nuclear device” using highly enriched uranium as its fissile core. In the presentation, he described intelligence that points to a formalized and rigorous process for gaining all the necessary skills for weapons-building, using native talent as well as a generous helping of foreign expertise.
It would appear that the latest basis for war will be the conclusion that Iran has developed technology for a nuclear trigger. Read more