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October 27, 2008

Something wicked this way comes…

Last week the Washington Post ran an OpEd by two former Senators, Chuck Robb (D-VA) and Dan Coats (R-ID).  In it, they endorsed sustained aggressive action in future U.S. dealings with Iran, saying that Iran must be prevented, using any means necessary, from not only obtaining nuclear weapons, but even “the ability to quickly assemble a nuclear weapon.”
They were part of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s national security task force on Iran which also includes current Obama advisor to Middle Eastern Affairs, Dennis Ross.  It’s well known that Ross is positioning himself for a seat in an eventual Obama administration–possibly special envoy to Iran.  So then why is he stating in an Israeli newspaper that “Today Iran is a nuclear power – it doesn’t have nuclear weapons yet, but in 2001 it was not yet able to convert uranium or uranium gas, it didn’t have a single centrifuge. Now it’s stockpiling highly enriched uranium.”?
Alleging that Iran is producing highly enriched uranium (HEU) is a pretty big deal.  Mohammed Elbaradai, and the IAEA have both declared that no HEU exists in Iran or within it’s nuclear program.  In the world of nuclear inspections, there are few greater certainties than this.  For me, this raises some questions about Ross’ qualifications for a high-level position regarding Iran.  Does he really believe he knows more about the existence of uranium in Iran than the IAEA inspectors? What is the drive behind making such a claim? One has to wonder what Senator Obama thinks of all this…
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