While I'm glad that the conclusions of the newly released NIE have pushed the prospect of an inevitably disastrous Iran invasion substantially farther off the table for now, I think we're still left with very serious questions both about the brazenly dishonest process by which the President, the Vice-President, and their apparatchiks were clearly trying to build support for war with Iran based on a nuclear threat which we know now they knew to be nonexistent, and about the ideology which underpinned this effort.
A new assessment by American intelligence agencies concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains on hold, contradicting an assessment two years ago that Tehran was working inexorably toward building a bomb.
The assessment, a National Intelligence Estimate that represents the consensus view of all 16 American spy agencies, states that Tehran’s ultimate intentions about gaining a nuclear weapon remain unclear, but that Iran’s “decisions are guided by a cost-benefit approach rather than a rush to a weapon irrespective of the political, economic and military costs.
I just got back from a CMEP-sponsored panel on Annapolis and what it all means, and though there were differing views on where things would go from here, all the panelists were unanimous in their relief and enthusiasm for renewed U.S. engagement in the process.
Daniel Levy, who was one of today's panelists, wrote this last Tuesday: