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Sunday, January 08, 2006

 

Iran and Nuclear Weapons - Did CIA provide them blueprints for a bomb ?

The State of War" by James Risen
*
The Guardian,UK: "George Bush insists that Iran must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. So why, six years ago, did the CIA give the Iranians blueprints to build a bomb? In an extract from his explosive new book, New York Times reporter James Risen reveals the bungles and miscalculations that led to a spectacular intelligence fiasco."

Excerpts:

"In fact, just as President Bush and his aides were making the case in 2004 and 2005 that Iran was moving rapidly to develop nuclear weapons, the American intelligence community found itself unable to provide the evidence to back up the administration's public arguments. On the heels of the CIA's failure to provide accurate pre-war intelligence on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, the agency was once again clueless in the Middle East. In the spring of 2005, in the wake of the CIA's Iranian disaster, Porter Goss, its new director, told President Bush in a White House briefing that the CIA really didn't know how close Iran was to becoming a nuclear power.

But it's worse than that. Deep in the bowels of the CIA, someone must be nervously, but very privately, wondering: "Whatever happened to those nuclear blueprints we gave to the Iranians?"

State of War by James Risen

State of War, by James Risen




Additional comments by Julian Borger, The Guardian.
"The operation, codenamed Merlin and approved by the Clinton administration, was intended to send Iranian scientists down a technological dead end, according to this account. They would spend years building a warhead which would fail to detonate. Instead, Risen writes, the operation may have helped Iran to "accelerate its weapons development" by extracting important information from the blueprints and ignoring the flaws."


And in Foggy Bottom "Rice Says Patience With Iran Waning", the Washington Post
*****


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