Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Roger Cohen's latest: Iran not seeking nucelar weapons

Roger Cohen seems awfully confident that he knows what Iran is up to, and that it isn't nuclear weapons. The actual proof involves, as you might suspect, "the classified N.I.E. of 2011," Sy Hersh, and the latter's informant, a "retired senior intelligence official." So much for what Iran is not doing. What is Iran actually up to?
Remember, Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, is the guardian of the revolution. That is a conservative business. Breakout, let alone a bomb, is a bridge too far if the Islamic Republic is what you’ve vowed to preserve. Much better to gain leverage by producing low-enriched uranium — far from weapons grade — under International Atomic Energy Agency inspection and allow rumors to swirl.
Why is a bomb a "bridge too far"? If anyone follows this line of reasoning, please let me know. And aren't increasing amounts of enriched uranium (and constant tests of new missiles and other military technology) a lot of trouble to to go through just to cause rumors to "swirl"? Here is more impressionism, somehow meant to be concretely probative:
Khamenei is at loggerheads with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who got into such a sulk recently that he took 11 days off work, infuriating everybody. The Majlis, or parliament, is investigating Ahmadinejad for various alleged frauds including, of all things, vote-buying in 2009! Ahmadinejad was booed during his June 3 speech commemorating Ayatollah Khomeini’s death. Iran is characterized by what Farideh Farhi of the University of Hawaii recently termed “administrative chaos.”

That’s not how you make a nuke. [...]
Am I missing something? Roger, that's not how you make a case. (h/t: RealClearWorld)

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