Bush Falsely Claims Iran "Declared" It Wants Nukes "to Destroy People"
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During a recent interview with Radio Farda, a U.S. government-run radio service that broadcasts into Iran in the Farsi language, President Bush falsely claimed that Iran “declared they want to have a nuclear weapon to destroy people.”
However, the the U.S. intelligence community disagrees. A National Intelligence Estimate on Iran released last December stated unequivocally that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003. But also, Iran has never “declared” its intention to acquire nuclear weapons and in fact, it has publicly stated the opposite:
–”Iran has repeatedly denied seeking nuclear warheads, and its supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, issued a religious edict in 2005 forbidding the production, stockpiling and use of such weapons.”
–Iran expert and former Bush administration official Suzanne Maloney: “ The Iranian government is on the record across the board as saying it does not want a nuclear weapon."
–Non-proliferation expert Joe Cirincione: “Iran has never said it wanted a nuclear weapon for any reason. It’s just not true.“
The experts added that Bush’s claim is “troubling,” “as uninformed as [Sen. John] McCain’s [R-AZ] statement that Iran is training al-Qaeda” and “only produces” such rhetoric from Iran.
Benjamin J. Armbruster is a Research Associate for The Progress Report and ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress.