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Posts Tagged ‘ NIE ’

  • 20 August 2010
  • Posted By David Elliott
  • 4 Comments
  • US-Iran War

NIE to Shed Light on Iran’s Nuclear Debate

David Sanger has another story on the front page of the The New York Times today urgently alerting us that Iran is [still] at least a year away from being able to build a nuclear weapon.  If you’re like me, you’ve lost track of how many times Sanger has reported this one year timeline. But that is not the correct timeline for how long it would take Iran to build a nuclear weapon — it is the timeline for how long it would take Iran to enrich the uranium necessary for a weapon. These are not the same thing.

If Iran were to commit to building a nuclear weapon and kicked out international inspectors, it would take Iran 2-5 years to build “something that can actually create a detonation, an explosion that would be considered a nuclear weapon,” according to the Congressional testimony of General James Cartwright on April 14, 2010.  Gen. Cartwright clarified that it would take at least three years for Iran to develop a deliverable nuclear weapon.

All this is not to say Sanger’s article isn’t worth reading. In particular, this very important news is tucked away near the bottom:

The current draft of the [forthcoming National Intelligence Estimate on Iran] also describes considerable division in Iran about whether the goal of the nuclear program should be to walk right up to the threshold of building an actual bomb — which would mean having highly enriched uranium on hand, along with a workable weapons design — or simply to keep enough low-enriched uranium on hand to preserve Tehran’s options for building a weapon later.

Such a debate is telling, since it indicates that the motivation — even for the hardliners — is to acquire a nuclear capability for its value as a deterrence.

The experts know that Iran is ruled by ruthless, repressive, and rational men interested in preserving their own rule. This is well worth remembering as the debate over whether to go to war with Iran heats up in Washington. Netanyahu will continue saying Iran is an existential threat ruled by a “messianic apocalyptic cult” hellbent on acquiring nuclear weapons, and neoconservatives will continue to repeat this line.

It’s not a credible argument, though. Netanyahu’s own Defense Minister has publicly said Iran is not an existential threat, and the motivations of those who are trying to convince the United States to start another war are obvious enough.  As Trita Parsi and Robert Wright have pointed out, advocates for war with Iran are now trying to frame this debate as a matter of “who should bomb Iran, not about whether Iran should be bombed.”

http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/08/13/trita_parsi_jeffrey_goldberg/
  • 4 March 2008
  • Posted By Ali Scotten
  • 3 Comments
  • Diplomacy

Thank you Diane Feinstein

The editors at the Economist are arguing that December’s National Intelligence Estimate on Iran has brought “international policy on Iran to the edge of collapse.” It has made America’s diplomatic position weaker, they say.

If by “diplomatic position” you mean threatening war and creating a hostile environment that strengthens Iran’s hardline elements, thus rendering a peaceful solution even more out of reach then, yes, the Economist is correct.

Thankfully, the NIE has opened up space for clearer heads to prevail by silencing those who were itching to bomb Iran.

Sign the Petition

 

7,349 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.

Sincerely,

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