Re-estimating the national intelligence

…or how Iran is coming to love the bomb.

I refer to a US National Intelligence Estimate published a couple of months ago that was widely reported to clear Iran of involvement in developing nuclear weapons.

The man responsible for that judgement, Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, is now back-pedalling, and refers to “confusion” in the way the media reported the original assessment. In testimony earlier this month before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, McConnell said that, in hindsight:

“I think I would change the way that we describe the nuclear program… I would argue, maybe even at least significant portion, was halted and there are other parts that continue.”

McConnell is not saying that the Tehran regime is continuing with the nuclear weapons programme described some four years ago by US Intelligence. The difference now is to do with definitions of uranium enrichment processes and weaponisation.

McConnell now tells the Senate committee that:

“Iran continues to pursue fissile material and nuclear-capable missile delivery systems… Iranian entities are continuing to develop a range of technical capabilities that could be applied to producing nuclear weapons. Iran continues its efforts to develop uranium enrichment technology, which can be used both for power reactor fuel and to produce nuclear weapons. And, as noted, Iran continues to deploy ballistic missiles inherently capable of delivering nuclear weapons, and to develop longer-range missiles.”

David Horovitz of the Zionist entity’s esteemed organ The Jerusalem Post has his own spin on the story, and you can make of that opinion(ated) piece what you will. What is clear is that, journalistic selection effect aside, the US intelligence community tied itself up in its own syntax in the original estimate of Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

Horovitz remarks that you will be lucky to see the revised estimate reported in the mainstream media. That is a little over the top, as even a cursory web search shows, but McConnell’s recent pronouncements are most certainly not front page news.