Monday, October 5, 2009

The New York Times floats rumours about Iran's nuclear capabilities

US NSC [National Securtiy Council] chairman General Jones today firmly shot down the Sunday 2 October 2009 'New York Times' lead story that the Islamic Republic of Iran is designing nuclear warheads. The general stood firmly by the Pentagon's 2007 assessment that Iran was not capable of producing nuclear weaponry. The story written by David Sanger, the 'Times' man with an in at the Pentagon, William Broad, and Mike Mazzetti spoke of an IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna] report, not made public yet.
The more attentive eye would and should have picked up on the fact that the 'Times' article is based on third party accounts, on sources which had heard of the IAEA report, but which few had read. So in brief, the paper of note is peddling rumours and hearsay.
Guam Diary then asks why did the 'Times' allow the story to run as a lead article in its much read Sunday edition? It is more noteworthy since it appears that there is a good crack in the 30 years ice of no contact between Washington and Tehran, not since the hostage crisis of 1979! Discussions between the US and its allies with Iran look promising, and an Iran watcher in the US in his commentary called it 'the October suprise in US Iran relations'.
The 'Times' did cover its tracks by saying, the 'scoop' needed verification, but its prominent place on page one demands further digging as to the sources of the article's rumours.
It is an open secret in Washington that the old guard in the Pentagon and state deepartment are fighting a rear guard fight with the Obama administration. Proof of this is General McChrystal open criticism of vice president Joseph Biden's view on fighting in Afghanistan, during an interview in Great Britain, at a time president Obama is weighing the commitment of more troops to Afghanistan. And then there is the element in the military and state who side with the Israeli view of how dangerous Tehran is in developing a nuclear programme which they qualify as nefarious and hostile to the US client Israel.
General Jones stand should for the moment quiet the overt differences on talks with Iran, but the battle is joined to derail any thaw in US Iran discussions and resumption of normal relations. This is yet another indication of a seemingly life and death struggle in defence of the Bush polices which have been deleterious to US aims and role in the world. Guam Diary suggests that we have not heard the last of such sleights of hand, manipulation of the media, and the go for broke reactionary designs which bode ill for a peaceful resolution of differences.

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