November 4, 2007

If you listen to White House officials, Iran's nuclear-weapons program is already a reality. There's no hesitation on the rhetoric -- the program, top administration officials say, is an unfortunate reality that demands our immediate attention. As Dick Cheney recently put it, "Our country, and the entire international community, cannot stand by as a terror-supporting state fulfills its grandest ambitions. We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon."

With this in mind, it's probably worth taking a moment, now and again, to point out that there's no conclusive evidence that such a program actually exists.

Despite President Bush's claims that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons that could trigger "World War III," experts in and out of government say there's no conclusive evidence that Tehran has an active nuclear-weapons program.

Even his own administration appears divided about the immediacy of the threat. While Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney speak of an Iranian weapons program as a fact, Bush's point man on Iran, Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns, has attempted to ratchet down the rhetoric. [...]

If conclusive proof exists ... Bush hasn't revealed it. Nor have four years of IAEA inspections.

Something to keep in mind the next time we hear bluster from the White House.

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