"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." Bertrand Russell

Friday, June 02, 2006

Iran Iraq 'within next 10 years'

BBC headline reads today:

Iran bomb 'within next 10 years'

Iran is determined to have a nuclear weapon and could possess one within 10 years, according to the top US intelligence chief.

Then RTE news followed BBC suit in their prominent reporting of John Negroponte's claim that Iran is within 10 years of obtaining a nuclear weapon. While this is of course a credible claim and one that has been broadcast many times recently. His assertion that "Iran is determined to have a nuclear weapon" is without foundation, infact it is amazing that RTE would publish these claims without offering some perspective.

The Irish Times reported in Feruary 2005, "Mr Negroponte is a former US ambassador to the United Nations and was at the heart of the Bush administration's drive to convince the world body that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction."

The claim that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction is now accepted by everyone to be false. The fact that Mr. Negroponte made similar claims in the lead up to the Iraq war should be considered essential information for RTE viewers and readers.

But Mr. Negroponte's complicated history with regard to Iran does not end here. In 1979 Nicaragua Washington created and funded the Contras in an attempt to undermine and overthrow the democratically elected Sandanista government.

After congress cut off most military aid to the Contras the Reagan administration began a covert war, raising money for the Contras from the secret sale of U.S. arms to Iran (which was under embargo after seizing Americans as hostages). The discovery of this and other illegal schemes led to the Iran-Contra scandal, in which Negroponte played key roles.

Perhaps the line "It should be noted that John Negroponte was instrumental in promoting the myth Iraq possessed WMDs prior to the Iraq war" should be incorporated in this article.

US intelligence chief warns over Iran arms

The US Director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte, has claimed that Iran could have nuclear weapons within the next ten years.

In an interview this morning, Mr Negroponte said it was his assessment that Iran was actively trying to make weapons.

RTE news