Is the Iran NIE a Trojan Horse?

This post, written by Russ Wellen, originally appeared on Scholars & Rogues

The Iran NIE has elicited a range of emotions in those opposed to the Bush administration's policies from gloating
to discreet celebration. In the minds of many, it's like V-Day: Let the church bells peal, kiss a girl in Times Square. Others, particularly Iranian commentators located in the US, are considerably less sanguine.
They fear, as Farideh Farhi writes at Juan Cole's spin-off, Informed Comment: Global Affairs, that the NIE can "easily become an instrument in support of the Bush Administration's current policy."

In fact, according to Kaveh Afrasiabi at Asia Times Online, "The temporary freeze on the military option [resulting from] the new intelligence report has nested within it its exact opposite." In other words, a Trojan horse.

Even though, he maintains, the nuclear programs that Iran halted in 2004-2005 were not weapons, the NIE and the administration painted them as such. If a follow-up report were to indicate that Iran planned to resurrect said weapons program, that would provide "ample justification for Washington's planned 'pre-emptive strikes' on Iran, not to mention added sanctions."

Thus leaving "the pendulum capable of swinging in wildly different directions almost at will."
Meanwhile, at CASMII (Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Action Against Iran), Daniel Pourkesali writes, "Forgive this writer for being a spoiler." But he too finds that the resurrection theme is like a ticking time bomb embedded in the NIE.
He mentions the "assertions on page 7 paragraph D [of the NIE] that 'Iranian entities are continuing to develop a range of technical capabilities that could be applied to produce nuclear weapons if a decision is made to do so.'"
They leave "the door wide open for administration hawks like Mr. Cheney to abruptly accuse Iran of resurrecting its 'nuclear weapons program much as he did back in 2002, claiming that Saddam Hussein had 'resumed his effort to acquire nuclear weapons.'" In other words, the hawks are fixated on another bird, the phoenix.

At NIAC (National Iranian-American Council), Trita Parsi explains how the administration further unrolls the rock before the resurrection justification. "Rather than adjusting policy on Iran in accordance to the reality-check provided by the NIE, the President moved the goal post on Iran."

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.