Kelley: Nuclear Arms Charge Against Iran Is No Slam Dunk [View all]
By Robert Kelley Wed Jan 11 00:01:20 GMT 2012
The conflict between Iran and the West just keeps heating up, with the Iranians announcing over the weekend that they have begun to enrich uranium at a second major facility, a well-defended site outside the city of Qom.
Given the high stakes, itís valuable to take another look at the main source of the tension: Iranís nuclear-weapons program. That this enterprise is active is widely considered a given in the U.S. In fact, the evidence, contained in a November report of the International Atomic Energy Agency, is sketchy. And the way the data have been presented produces a sickly sense of deja vu.
I am speaking up about this now because, as a member of the IAEAís Iraq Action Team in 2003, I learned firsthand how withholding the facts can lead to bloodshed. Having known the details then, though I was not allowed to speak, I feel a certain shared responsibility for the war that killed more than 4,000 Americans and more than 100,000 Iraqis. A private citizen today, I hope to help ensure the facts are clear before the U.S. takes further steps that could lead, intentionally or otherwise, to a new conflagration, this time in Iran.
Itís accepted that Iran at one time had a nuclear-weapons program. The countryís enormous investment in a secret underground uranium-enrichment complex in the city of Natanz is essentially proof of clandestine intentions. The military plutonium-production reactor in Arak is yet another indicator.