Ahmadinejad: We have brought World Powers 'To Their Knees'
So a highly politicized National Intelligence Estimate says that Iran stopped trying to get the bomb in 2003 while those with the most to lose if Iran goes nuclear say otherwise. Who to believe?
Perhaps we should keep listening to the Iranians themselves.
Meanwhile, just days ahead of a new report by the UN nuclear watchdog, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday that Iran has brought world powers "to their knees" and successfully resisted US-led efforts to get Teheran to halt its uranium enrichment.Does Ahmadinejad have a death wish? By speaking as though Iran has the power to bring the US to its knees in the same context as their enrichment program, what else are policy makers in Israel and the United States to think other than here is a nation attempting to construct a nuclear bomb?
Ahmadinejad delivered a defiant speech to cheering supporters Wednesday in southern Iran, ahead of a new report by the International Atomic Energy Agency on the country's disputed nuclear program that Washington and some of its allies fear is aimed at building nuclear weapons.
"They (US and its allies) expected the Iranian nation... to surrender after a resolution is issued or sanctions are imposed, but today... it has brought all big powers to their knees," Ahmadinejad told supporters in Bandar Abbas, in comments broadcast live on state television.
The fiery leader said Iran would not stop enriching uranium _ a process that yields material that can be used to produce nuclear fuel or bombs _ under any conditions. Tehran says its program is to generate fuel only.
And to throw a little petrol on the flames, the primary Iranian oppostion group is claiming that the regime is continuing its efforts to build a bomb:
"The Iran regime entered a new phase in its nuclear project," said Mohammad Mohaddessin, a representative of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran.Right now, the will does not exist in the United States to take out the Iranian nuclear program. Whether you believe as I do that bombing will only make things worse or that bombing is our only option, you must be concerned that the choice not to bomb has come about not as a result of any rational examination of policy but rather because the political support doesn't exist for a strike.
He claimed that, for the first time, Teheran had established a command and control center to work on a nuclear bomb and that southeast of the capital it was also setting up a center to produce warheads.
Israel is another story. Most Israelis see the threat from Iran as existential and will no doubt act if the US is too paralyzed to do so. But Ahmadinejad's defiant bluster only points up the fact that the man is literally asking for it.
And before long, he is likely to get it.