Concerns about an Israeli Preemptive strike against Iranian Nuclear production facilities have gained attention recently and have been the topic of numerous speculative reports in both the foreign and U.S. Press.
The Wisdom and effectiveness of such an attack has been debated, and both U.S. and Israeli Government officials have weighed in on the topic. Reports that Iran continues to stonewall United Nation inspectors, appear as front page news, while not being news at all.
As recently as November 8th, more speculation was raised when CNN reported on a United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency statement “expressing serious concerns” about Iran’s nuclear program and that “credible” information existed that the Islamic republic may be developing nuclear weapons.
Articles this past week reporting another failure in the monitoring process, were followed up by a New York Times article (February 24th) detailing the United States Intelligence community position that ”no evidence exists to support the assertion that Iran is building a Nuclear weapon”.
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The public should be completely confused at this point. Each day the latest slant on the issue is released. Bringing the public no closer to knowing what the actual threat may be.
The source of the article was testimony by the current Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, as well as that of CIA Director Panetta, reported to have been given January 31st.
Given the context of recent debate, the public should be expecting a “but we believe they are going to build one anyway” punch line. No punch line was delivered.
The U.S. assertion that there is no evidence of a weapon being built is not the same as a statement that recent concerns and tensions are unwarranted. Raising questions about a lack of evidence, without actually saying there is no threat, allows the U.S. to distance itself from any action that Israel make take on its own while deflating any sympathetic support Israel may garnered toward making the first move.
Downplaying an imminent need for a decision by Israel could be a catalyst for an upcoming break in the stalemate. This is likely to be through a turnabout by Iran, who could now back away from its stance of defiance toward monitoring, while saving face. Deflating current tensions may be the goal of the U.S. and the reason for downplaying concern – that’s the only reason that makes any sense.

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