Iran’s Inconsistencies and Our Own
It is not surprising that Iran had a hidden nuclear enrichment facility at Qom; all the known aspects of their nuclear program were developed in secret and shielded from view as long as possible. The intelligence community knew about this for years, and even open sources widely referred to Qom as a nuclear site. President Obama stated that “the size and configuration of this facility is inconsistent with a peaceful program.” But if this is the case and if the intelligence community has known about it for years, why is the official U.S. government line that the Islamic Regime in Tehran has no intention of building a nuclear weapon? The 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on Iranian nuclear intentions and capabilities set in bureaucratic stone the idea that Iran could have the capability to build a nuclear weapon by early next decade (i.e., 2010; in other words, a few months from now), but that Tehran has no plans to actually do so. Yet the secret facility at Qom is “inconsistent with a peaceful program” according to President Obama. If Iran is going to all this trouble to secretly build the capabilities to construct nuclear weapons, isn’t it reasonable to conclude that they are motivated by the intention to do so? And if they do not have the intent, why are they working so diligently to build the capability? Most organizations that track Iran’s program have concluded that its goal is a nuclear weapon. The United States finds itself in the unique position of being to the left of France and the U.N. on this question. It would be useful if the Intelligence Community would correct its own inconsistent position on the matter of whether Iran intends to build an atomic bomb. We can no longer afford to accept politicized intelligence on a matter this vital to U.S. national security.