Back in December, 2009, a story published by The Sunday Times warned that Iran was in the process of developing a neutron initiator, the component of a nuclear bomb that triggers an explosion. “Foreign intelligence agencies date them to early 2007, four years after Iran was thought to have suspended its weapons programme,” Catherine Philp wrote for the British newspaper. “An Asian intelligence source last week confirmed to The Times that his country also believed that weapons work was being carried out as recently as 2007.”
As it turns out the story about Iran’s supposed nuclear trigger was not provided by Asian intelligence but more likely the Israeli government with possible help by the British.
“U.S. intelligence has concluded that the document published recently by the Times of London, which purportedly describes an Iranian plan to do experiments on what the newspaper described as a ‘neutron initiator’ for an atomic weapon, is a fabrication, according to a former Central Intelligence Agency official,” reports IPS. “Philip Giraldi, who was a CIA counterterrorism official from 1976 to 1992, told IPS that intelligence sources say that the United States had nothing to do with forging the document, and that Israel is the primary suspect. The sources do not rule out a British role in the fabrication, however.”
The bogus claim prompted a new round of support for more aggressive U.S. and European sanctions against Iran. It also underscored a U.S. intelligence report in 2007 concluding that Iran had conducted secret research on building a nuclear weapon until 2003, when its leaders stopped the effort in response to international pressure, according to the Washington Post. European and Middle Eastern analysts claim Iran resumed a nuclear weapon research in 2005.
In lead up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Bush regime and its coterie of neocons invented a series of stories claiming Saddam Hussein had developed weapons of mass destruction. The Bush neocons worked closely with journalist Judith Miller of the New York Times to persuade the American public that Iraq had WMD. Miller’s story about an intercepted shipment of aluminum tubes said to be used to develop nuclear material was followed up with television appearances by Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice who referenced the fallacious story as part of the basis for invading and occupying Iraq
The Bush neocons also floated a story about two trailers captured in Iraq by Kurdish troops they said were mobile biological weapons factories. In fact, the trailers were for manufacturing hydrogen for weather balloons. Secretary of State Colin Powell told the United Nations Security Council the trailers were evidence Iraq was developing biological weapons.
On July 1, Obama signed a new sanctions bill against Iran aimed at “striking at the heart” of that country’s assumed ability to develop nuclear weapons. “It’s a move the President says he did not seek, but one the Iranian government brought on themselves,” writes Jake Tapper for ABC News. “Mr. Obama says the United States and the international community will continue to increase their efforts to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of Tehran.”
In 2006, a classified draft CIA assessment found no evidence of a secret drive by Iran to develop nuclear weapons. “The CIA found no conclusive evidence, as yet, of a secret Iranian nuclear-weapons program running parallel to the civilian operations that Iran has declared to the International Atomic Energy Agency,” journalist Seymour Hersh wrote for The New Yorker.
Earlier this year, U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency Chief Lt. Gen. Ronald Burgess said there is scant evidence Iran is building nuclear weapons. “The bottom line assessments of the [National Intelligence Estimate] still hold true,” Burgess said. “We have not seen indication that the government has made the decision to move ahead with the program.”
Israeli Brigadier-General Uzi Eilam said he believes Iran is not currently capable of developing a nuclear weapon and added that Israel officials who talk about an Iranian nuke within the year are “ridiculous” and asked “where’s the proof?” Eilam is former director-general of Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission