People don’t ask this often, but what if McCain had won?
Defense Minister Ehud Barak confirmed on Thursday Haaretz’s report that President Barack Obama recently received a new National Intelligence Estimate report on the Iranian nuclear program, which shares Israel’s view that Iran has made significant progress toward military nuclear capability, and said that the report has raised the urgency of the issue.
Speaking on Israel Radio on Thursday morning, Barak said that there is a U.S. intelligence report “being passed around senior offices,” and that, as far as Israel knows, this report has brought the U.S. position over Iran closer to the Israeli position, and made the issue more urgent.
Haaretz reported on Thursday that the National Intelligence Estimate report on Iran was supposed to have been submitted to Obama a few weeks ago, but it was revised to include new and alarming intelligence information about military components of Iran’s nuclear program. Haaretz has learned that the report’s conclusions are quite similar to those drawn by Israel’s intelligence community.
The NIE report contends that Iran has made surprising, notable progress in the research and development of key components of its military nuclear program.
I’m going to suggest that Iran has not made “notable progress” in its nuclear program in recent weeks and months. I just don’t think you undergo two computer virus attacks and a spate of “accidental” deaths of nuclear scientists and make a net gain in research. Rather, I think the NIE has slowly, very slowly, been extracting its head from its hindquarters on the issue—from what me worry to oh [bleep]!
If that’s too cynical for some of you, consider the other possibility: that politics has been driving the NIE reports rather than the other way around. The Obama administration would prefer to deal with Iran in its own way, in its own time. Israel doesn’t have that luxury.
Neither do the rest of us.