The Republican administration flat out lied to the American people again. Their steady drumbeat of claims that Iran was moving towards nuclear weapons has been proven to be just a bunch of Republican bullshit aimed at strengthening their chances at holding onto the White House.
A new assessment by American intelligence agencies concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains on hold, contradicting an assessment two years ago that Tehran was working inexorably toward building a bomb.
The conclusions are likely to be major factor in the tense international negotiations aimed at getting Iran to halt its nuclear energy program, and they come in the middle of a U.S. presidential campaign during which a possible military strike against Iran's nuclear program has been discussed.
The new assessment, a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that represents the consensus of all 16 American spy agencies, states that Tehran's ultimate intentions about gaining a nuclear weapon remain unclear, but that Iran's "decisions are guided by a cost-benefit approach rather than a rush to a weapon irrespective of the political, economic and military costs."
And, as Kevin Drum points out the White House has known these facts for a year.
This NIE was apparently finished a year ago, and its basic parameters were almost certainly common knowledge in the White House well before that. This means that all the leaks, all the World War III stuff, all the blustering about the IAEA -- all of it was approved for public consumption after Cheney/Bush/Rice/etc. knew perfectly well it was mostly baseless.
Baseless bullshit lies to the American public again. Update below.
A week later Bush slapped new sanctions on Iran.
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