A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Wait? What's New Here? Rereading the IAEA Report

My post earlier today on the IAEA report suggested it wasn't exactly a smoking gun, but a commenter's post there has made me look at it again. Almost all the evidence presented relates to the period before 2003, the year an earlier US National Intelligence Estimate considered the year Iran dropped its program. The IAEA says most of the evidence it was provided was provided in 2005. Most of the evidence since then is thin.

I'm not suggesting Iran doesn't  have a weapons program (it's hard to explain their defiant approach otherwise), but given the way some US media is presenting this as the smoking gun, I'm really wondering how much is totally new here. They were working on one till 2003; they were doing suspicious stuff as late as 2005. And this changes the situation six years later how?

Tonight ABC news reported the report as "ABC News has obtained a copy of this top secret report." That was at 6:30 Eastern time; I had the PDF of the not-very-secret report linked at 3:01, and that's because I'd been busy with other stuff. Let's not overhype this already much-overhyped report.

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