Posted on 01/20/2012 by Juan
As Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Israel Thursday, the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper dropped its own atomic bombshell.
Israeli intelligence agencies have worked up an intelligence assessment that Iran has not yet decided whether to begin a military program to construct a nuclear warhead. Put in other words, Mossad believes that there is no current Iranian nuclear weapons program. Haaretz writes:
“The intelligence assessment Israeli officials will present later this week to Dempsey indicates that Iran has not yet decided whether to make a nuclear bomb. The Israeli view is that while Iran continues to improve its nuclear capabilities, it has not yet decided whether to translate these capabilities into a nuclear weapon – or, more specifically, a nuclear warhead mounted atop a missile. Nor is it clear when Iran might make such a decision.”
This is the same conclusion to which the 16 US intelligence agencies have come in 2007 and 2010. It is also consistent with what the Iranian government itself says, which is that the Iranian nuclear enrichment program is a civilian one and that Iran is not trying to construct a nuclear weapon. Likewise, the International Atomic Energy Agency, which continues to inspect Iranian nuclear facilities, has repeatedly and consistently stated that no nuclear material has been diverted from the civilian program.
Haaretz says that Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak gave an interview with the Army radio, in which he come to another surprising conclusion. Asked if Israel plans a military strike on the Iranian nuclear facilities in Natanz near Isfahan, Barak replied:
“We haven’t made any decision to do this . . . This entire thing is very far off.”
I should think this assertion is pretty clear. But the journalists wanted to know what he meant by “far off.”
Barak told them,
“I wouldn’t want to provide any estimates. It’s certainly not urgent. I don’t want to relate to it as though tomorrow it will happen.”
It is hard to see these statements by Barak as anything but a massive climbdown by the Israeli government from its attempts to whip up war fever on the Iranian nuclear issue.
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- IAEA Report Shows Nuclear Fuel Production in Underground Iranian Site (news.firedoglake.com)
- Netanyahu calls top US general a servant of Iran (jhaines6.wordpress.com)
- Cold War Within Israel: Defense Minister Barak Slams President Peres for Objecting to War (ibtimes.com)
- Even Israel Admits that Iran Has Not Decided to Build a Nuclear Bomb (jhaines6.wordpress.com)
- US Intelligence Community: Iran Is Not Actively Building a Nuclear Weapon (news.firedoglake.com)