Iran Will Have the Bomb Soon! Really, This Time We Mean It!

by Kevin Jon Heller

Scott Peterson has a fantastic timeline at the Christian Science Monitor that catalogs all the times Western countries have predicted Iran’s imminent entry into the nuclear club.  Some highlights:

1984: Soon after West German engineers visit the unfinished Bushehr nuclear reactor, Jane’s Defence Weekly quotes West German intelligence sources saying that Iran’s production of a bomb “is entering its final stages.” US Senator Alan Cranston claims Iran is seven years away from making a weapon.

1992: Israeli parliamentarian Benjamin Netanyahu tells his colleagues that Iran is 3 to 5 years from being able to produce a nuclear weapon – and that the threat had to be “uprooted by an international front headed by the US.”

1995: The New York Times conveys the fears of senior US and Israeli officials that “Iran is much closer to producing nuclear weapons than previously thought” – about five years away – and that Iran’s nuclear bomb is “at the top of the list” of dangers in the coming decade.

1998: [F]ormer Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld reports to Congress that Iran could build an intercontinental ballistic missile – one that could hit the US – within five years.

2002: CIA warns that the danger from nuclear-tipped missiles, especially from Iran and North Korea, is higher than during the cold war. Robert Walpole, then a top CIA officer for strategic and nuclear programs, tells a Senate panel that Iran’s missile capability had grown more quickly than expected in the previous two years – putting it on par with North Korea.

2004: Then-Secretary of State Colin Powell tells reporters that Iran had been working on technology to fit a nuclear warhead onto a missile. “We are talking about information that says they not only have [the] missiles but information that suggests they are working hard about how to put the two together,” he said.

Keep this timeline in mind the next time you read that the right of self-defense in the UN Charter permits the U.S. or Israel to attack Iran in order to prevent an Iranian nuclear attack.

4 Responses

  1. What you fail to include is the possibility that intelligence agencies have thwarted the Iranian attempts.  I prefer to believe German intelligence, the CIA, U.S. Sec of Defense and State over the Iranian govt – you know, the folks who trample the rights, imprison and murder their own citizens.

  2. Johnnie – whilst that is possible, it is an extremely remote possibility. There is no evidence supporting such a suspicion.

    The U.S. state is a great source for WMD intelligence, isn’t it? The Iraq war must be the basis for your conclusion, I assume.

  3. I hear your point but I dont think Powell was part of some grand “right wing” conspiracy along with the CIA, Rummie and the West Germans.  That is the problem with these grand theories – there are too many people with diverse points of view and interests to indicate let alone “prove”one.  There are too many players here and I have to give credible belief to them.

  4. The fact that weird worms are sent and that nuclear scientists are getting mysteriously killed, putting pressure on Russia to postpone its support to the program, not to mention the sanctions regime – All of these play a role in delaying their nuclear program. So your timeline only proves to me that we should continue to pursue this line of approach and if required even threaten the Iranian gov. with the possibility of using force.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. There are no trackbacks or pingbacks associated with this post at this time.