We have grown accustomed to knowing nothing about Iran and their nuclear capability. The IAEA lied to us for years, and then as Inspector El-Baradei retired, he said guess what: I didn't do my job. Iran lied to me. I didn't confirm anything for myself (or he did but, as a Muslim, had no intention of outing Iran's banty rooster regimes). Somehow, intelligence sources bought El-Baradei's story that Iran had shutdown it's nuclear program, and in 2007 The U.S. National Intelligence Estimate was way wrong - allowing Iran to buy years of time. The truth is, we have no one but Israel we can trust to tell us the truth as they know it, and since the world will not support Israel's intelligence efforts, they are somewhat stymied as well.
In 2006, George Bush was seriously considering a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. The "world" was appalled.
You might find this Hyscience article, written in 2006 of interest, reporting the infiltration of the UN's nuclear watchdog in Vienna by Iran.
In 2008, the NIE continued with the lie: "Despite the halt through at least mid-2007 to Iran's nuclear weapons design and covert uranium conversion...." Still yet, in 2008, the language of the NIE is wussified:
We remain concerned about Iran's intentions and assess with moderate-to-high confidence that Tehran at a minimum is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons. We have high confidence that Iranian military entities were working under government direction to develop nuclear weapons until fall 2003.The lie that the whole world is privvy to, continues in 2008:
We assess with moderate confidence that Tehran had not restarted these activities as of mid-2007.In 2008 the NIE knew this:
We judge with moderate confidence Iran probably would be...capable of producing enough HEU for a weapon sometime during the 2010-2015 time frame.In 2008, Mohamed El Baradei, the IAEA chief, said Iran could have a bob in three to 8 years. Eight months later he Iran would need only six months to one year to be nuclear.
In September 2008, El Baradei said there is still "no credible evidence...." "I do not think based on what we see that Iran has an ongoing nuclear weapons programme." Then the joker baldly said Iran was not cooperating him on their plans for nuclear warheads.
In September 2009, in the same article linked directly above, is a report that El Baradei's IAEA published a "secret" report saying they, indeed, had sufficient information to make a nuclear device and warhead. On October 4, 2009 the New York Times published the same information.
And the same article, published in January 2010, lists the U.N. sanctions against Iran. Here's a summary:
The U.S. has had a trade embargo since our American embassy hostages were taken., Resolution 1737 levied in December 2006 mandates:
...all UN member states "to prevent the supply, sale or transfer... of all items, materials, equipment, goods and technology which could contribute to Iran's enrichment-related, reprocessing or heavy water-related activities or to the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems".
Resolution 1747 in March 2007 sought to "tighten the squeeze" by preventing dealings with an Iranian state back and 28 other people and organizations. It banned the import of arms from Iran and:
UN member states were told to "exercise restraing in selling major arms to Iran.
Resolution 1803 in March 2008: asset restrictions and travel bans on certain Iranian individuals - excluding the egregious Achmadinejad who repeatedly shows up on U.S. soil at the U.N. 1803 bans the sale of "dual-use items (items with neither military or civilian purpose). Governments were asked to withdraw fianncial backing from companies trading with Iran - and urged to inspect cargo in and out. Two more banks were monitored.
I think that's it folks, and none of it has done a whit of good.
The same article above, published by the BBC in January 2010 says experts believe Iran could enrich enough uranium for a bomb with a few months, but probably would not have the technology for a delivery system...unless as General Cartwright said, they are working on both projects at the same time. Of course, reasonable people would never speculate that to to happen. Right?
Major Garrett at Fox News interviewed the National Security Chief of Staff, Denis McDonough, at Obama's Nuclear Summit (the one with a new logo in the shape of an Islamic crescent). In one day, China agreed to sanctions against Iran (if you believe Obama) and then said there was absolutely no commitment to such sanctions.
Major points out that the results of the summit are not binding, so what is the point? McDonough says it is "a very concrete work plan." Somehow, McDonough says this "concrete work plan" will allow the U.S. to hold other countries "accountable." Hmmmm.
McDonough seems to blame "previous" administrations for the Iranian predicament we are in today. Nevermind the Democrat congress, with Barack Obama's mommy jeans seated therein, who would never, never vote to take action against Iran.
McDonough tells Major Garrett he feels good about a UN resolution (delusional idiot), BUT...he acknowledges that a UN resolution will do little to quell Iran's nuclear quest - and that is because he understand, but will not speak the words, that the UN Security Council - dominated by the Organization of the Islamic Conference, will never, ever, have a meaningful set of sanctions against their Islamic brothers.
At Obama's Nuclear Security Summit, the President said the new nuclear reality is a "cruel irony of history." He doesn't mention that while in Congress he thwarted every effort to do something about Iran. The President is a contributing factor to that cruel irony. The Democrat congress, as a whole, were cowards.
This report quotes the Obama administration saying on April 13th that it will take Iran three to five years to make a nuclear weapon. This after Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said this week he does not think Iran will have nuclear capability this year, and maybe not the next. Gates doesn't mention three to five years. Today, General James Cartwright said it will take Iran years to get a bomb...until he said, the time could be shortened if Iran pursues ways to deliver a weapon at the same time as it worked to build a bomb!
While I rue quoting John McCain he made the point that this is a "dramatic difference" in past estimates: "Every report I've seen, it's a year to 18 months."
Israel, however, sitting right in target-range of Iran quotes an Iranian research chief saying the country "will be nuclear within one month."
So, when will Americans have a fair and trusted estimate of Iran's nuclear capability? My belief is, it will never happen as long as Congress, Defense and State are dominated by career Democrats.