October 22, 2008
US presidential candidates are reportedly preparing to ward off an imminent threat allegedly being generated from Iran’s nuclear program.
Israel’s Debkafile reported on Tuesday that Senators Barack Obama and John McCain, the Democratic and Republican nominees, have been provided with a guideline to prepare for an international crisis early after either of them takes Office.
Debkafile, which has close ties to the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, claimed that US intelligence has made a new assessment about Iran’s nuclear program, estimating that the country would be ready to build its first nuclear bomb in February 2009.
The report comes contrary to the collective findings of sixteen US intelligence agencies made public on Dec 3, 2007. The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) found that Iran had abandoned ‘its nuclear weapons program’ in fall 2003.
Iran, a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), says it has never sought a nuclear weapon, stressing that weapons of mass destruction have no place in its defensive doctrine.
Since the release of the NIE report, the White House and its close allies in Tel Aviv have endeavored to make the findings of the assessment appear inaccurate.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
The Debkafile report, meanwhile, comes shortly after Democratic vice presidential nominee Joseph Biden said on Sunday that if elected, Barack Obama would face an international crisis early in his presidency.
“It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy,” said Biden.
“Watch, we’re going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy,” the Delaware senator added.
Israel and its staunch ally, the US, allege that Iran seeks nuclear weaponry and, under this pretext, have threatened to strike the country’s nuclear installations.
The Tuesday report quoted Israeli sources as saying that by February Iran would have the necessary enriched nuclear material to start building a nuclear bomb.
This is while UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei said Monday that Iran does not have the required material to build an atomic bomb, if the country ‘decide to do so’.
“They [Iranians] as I just recently mentioned still don’t even have the nuclear material, the low-enriched uranium, to develop one nuclear weapon, if they decide to do so,” ElBaradei said.
Earlier in September, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in its latest report on Iran’s nuclear activities that the agency had not discovered any ‘components of a nuclear weapon’ or ‘related nuclear physics studies’ in the country.
The IAEA report also confirmed that the agency had conducted ‘seventeen unannounced inspections’ at the country’s nuclear plants, where Iran has managed to enrich uranium-235 to a level ‘less than 5 percent’.
The rate is consistent with the construction of a nuclear power plant. Nuclear arms production requires an enrichment level of above 90 percent.
Before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Bush administration sought to justify the war and win international support by providing intelligence on possible weapons of mass destruction in the country.
Colin Powell, the then US Secretary of State, later stated that his pre-war testimony before the Security Council was based on intelligence, which was ‘flawed’.