Sunday, September 27, 2009

When, did you say?

Matthew and I were just talking about the latest revelation of a 'secret' Iranian nuclear facility in the city of Qom. Secret is indeed a term of art; it means secret from the public, not from the U.S. government, which has known about it since 2002.

There are two aspects to this puzzling announcement. First, it does make you wonder about our intelligence estimates. In 2007, the U.S. intelligence community concluded that Iran had stopped its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and kept it frozen. In 2007, we had known for five years about the 'secret' facility - so how could we have reached such a conclusion?

As for the second aspect: why is the Obama administration so confident that it can persuade Iran to abandon its nuclear program by using diplomacy perhaps backed by sanctions? Wouldn't you think that the existence of at least one 'secret' undeclared nuclear facility would suggest otherwise?

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