"Iran would need another three to eight years to make a nuclear bomb, the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog said in an interview published on Monday, warning against any rush to use force to curb its nuclear ambitions."
Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told France's 'Le Monde' newspaper there was plenty of time for diplomacy, sanctions, dialogue and incentives to bear fruit.
Mohmmed ElBaradei, an Egyptian and his agency won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2005, which makes him about as popular with the neo-cons, as a porkchop thrown into a synagogue.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in Paris, that ElBaradei should be more concerned about Iran."If Baradei thinks Iran can have a bomb in three years and it doesn't bother him, well it bothers me."
Of course the fact that Israel has one to two hundred nuclear weapons that ElBaradei and IAEA are forbidden to inspect, and are surely aimed at Iran and Israel's Arab neigbors, isn't supposed to bother the targeted countries.
Bush and Cheney are getting most of the press headlines, with their knee jerk responses to Iran's nuclear enrichment program.
Bush:"So I've told people that if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon"....and Cheney using the same language that the administration used before the Iraqi invasion, threatened Iran with "serious consequences" if it continued its present course of action".
Of course, everyone knows that there is nothing the neocons would like better to do, than project their frustration at the war's lack of progress in Iraq, on to Iran. For example, one of Giuliani 's top foreign policy advisors, neo-con founder Norman Podhoretz says" he hopes and prays" that Bush bombs Iran --and others".
Fortunately there are still a few, (by comparison), sobre adults in the Bush administration, that the neocons must somehow negotiate around.
Josh Marshall comments today that "The new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, seems to agree, albeit it politely, with the most of the civilized world that Dick Cheney and his crew are nuts."
From The New York Times':
He rejected the counsel of those who might urge immediate attacks inside Iran to destroy nuclear installations or to stop the flow of explosives that end up as powerful roadside bombs in Iraq or Afghanistan, killing American troops. With America at war in two Muslim countries, he said, attacking a third Islamic nation in the region "has extraordinary challenges and risks associated with it." The military option, he said, should be a last resort,
And on the Iranian side, the situation isn't as apocalyptic as Bush and the neo-cons love to paint. There is also serious dissent with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, 'the Dick Cheney of Iran" and the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and the leader of Iran's nuclear negotiating team, Ali Larijani.
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