December 11, 2007

Jacoby keeps it real on Iran

Great column by the Boston Globe's Jeff Jacoby on Dec. 9 under the headline, "No reason to relax on Iran" -

Jacoby writes, "Now that the new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran's nuclear intentions has had a few days to cool off, how does it look? A few reflections:

"1. Iran's nuclear program is alive and well. Yes, I know - the very first of the NIE's 'key judgments,' the one that launched a thousand headlines, is that 'Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program' in the fall of 2003. But what that first sentence giveth, a footnote to that sentence taketh away: 'By 'nuclear weapons program,' explains footnote 1, 'we mean Iran's declared civil work related to uranium conversion and enrichment."

"But that's a distinction without a difference, since the accumulation of enriched uranium is by far the most important component in developing nuclear weapons," Jacoby writes (emphasis added. "Iran's 'civil' uranium enrichment - those 3,000 centrifuges spinning at Natanz - continues unabated, in defiance of Security Council resolutions ordering that it stops. Whether the nuclear-fuel program is labeled 'civilian' or 'military' is irrelevant. The more uranium the mullahs enrich, the closer they are to getting the bomb."

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