By Stephen Lendman
Turning Iran into a reliable pro-Western puppet state is a long-sought US goal. All options are considered, including war.
Tactics include calling Iran a threat to world peace, falsely accusing Tehran of terrorist attacks, and fabricating lies about an alleged nuclear weapons program despite no corroborating evidence whatever.
Focusing largely on defense and security issues, the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) advances US interests "to sustain American prominence and prosperity as a force for good in the world." It's closely connected to high level administration, congressional, and Pentagon officials.
Its trustees include top corporate and former high level political ones. They include Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Brent Scowcroft, Richard Armitage, Harold Brown, William S. Cohen, and William E. Brock.
On May 7, CSIS national security analyst Anthony Cordesman issued a report titled "Rethinking Our Approach to Iran's Search for the Bomb." He chose a road previously traveled, saying:
"We badly need to rethink our approach to Iran's nuclear programs. We are putting far too much emphasis on Iran's nuclear efforts without considering how these programs fit into Iran's over military and strategic objectives."
"At the same time, we are placing too much emphasis on whether Iran has revived its formal nuclear program and the current shape of its nuclear facilities."
Iran has advanced "far beyond the point where it lacked the technology base to produce nuclear weapons...."
"Iran has pursued every major area of nuclear weapons development, has carried out programs that have already given it every component of a weapon except fissile material, and there is strong evidence that it has carried out programs to integrate a nuclear warhead on to its missiles."
"The threat Iran's nuclear efforts pose" go way beyond its uranium enrichment capability. Its programs "have been examined in depth in recent reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)."
Its unclassified reports "clearly outline just how far Iran may have gotten."
In May 2011, IAEA alleged seven areas of concern, including:
(1) Neutron generator and associated diagnostics experiments.
(2) Uranium conversion and metallurgy capability to produce nuclear device components.
(3) High explosives manufacture and testing.
(4) Exploding bridgewire (EBW) detonator studies with possible nuclear significance.
(5) Experiments related to hemispherical high explosive charges.
(6) High voltage firing equipment tests over long distances and possibly underground.
(7) Missile re-entry vehicle studies pertaining to spherical nuclear payloads.
In November 2011, IAEA claimed:
"The Agency has serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program. After assessing carefully and critically the extensive information available to it, the Agency finds the information to be, overall, credible."
"The information indicates that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device. The information also indicates that prior to the end of 2003, these activities took place under a structured program, and that some activities may still be ongoing."
Cordesman believes Iran maintains an ongoing nuclear weapons program. He cites IAEA reports as evidence. Official Tehran denials are false, he claims. His analysis states:
Despite sanctions and close monitoring, Iran received highly specialized instruments and equipment. Its scientific expertise is well advanced. It's able to conduct nuclear device tests. Preparations were made for them.
Iran is well advanced on multiple nuclear development fronts. IAEA monitoring suggests but hasn't detected them. Attacking its facilities won't prevent continuation of its program. Only multiple strikes perhaps can succeed.
"No assessment of Iran's military behavior, and its level of interest in nuclear weapons, should however, ignore the fact that nuclear weapons represent a key part of its overall strategic and military goals and force posture."
Tehran won't abandon its efforts. It believes a nuclear capability is its best defense. It may have advanced beyond the point of reversing it. America and Israel must structure their diplomatic and military options with these considerations in mind.
Cordesman bases his analysis on falsified IAEA claims. Previous articles discussed them. They stressed that US intelligence assessments through March 2012 found no evidence of Iranian nuclear weapons development.
Neither did former IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei during his December 1, 1997 - November 30, 2009 tenure. He carefully avoided baseless anti-Iranian charges.
In October 2009, the Agency leaked a document titled "Possible Dimensions of Iran's Nuclear Program" to the New York Times. At issue was circumventing ElBaradei. Allegations in it were spurious. As a result, he refused to endorse it.
Two months later, Washington replaced him with Yukiya Amano. In December 2010, the London Guardian published a leaked US embassy cable saying he's "director general of all states, but in agreement with us." Its title was: "Amano ready for prime time."
A November 2010 Guardian article headlined, "Nuclear Wikileaks: Cables show cosy US relationship with (new) IAEA chief." State Department official Geoffrey Pyatt was quoted, saying:
Amano will "overcome bureaucratic inertia (and) modernize Agency operations...." He's "solidly in the US court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program."
A July 2010 Pratt cable called replacing El Baradei "a once-a-decade opportunity.... to position the new director general for strong leadership from the DG's office."
Amano hasn't disappointed. Through conjecture, dubious intelligence, and false allegations, he claims Iran's nuclear program has "possible military dimensions."
Evidence supposedly came from a dubious laptop smuggled out of the country. "Laptop" is code language for suspect unnamed sources. Alleged documents weren't made public.
Amano's reports were based on forged, long ago discredited, discounted, or nonexistent ones. Nothing new in them was revealed. Material from 2004 and earlier was manipulated to look current.
Using identical information, US intelligence and ElBaradei reached opposite conclusions. Amano manipulated, twisted, hyped, and misused material. Other alleged evidence was fabricated to look real.
Cordesman and others bought it. Their analysis is inaccurate and flawed. Doing so plays a dangerous game. CSIS has close ties to top Washington and Pentagon officials.
Cordesman's voice is heard. His report gives war advocates more justification to wage it. Doing so follows a familiar pattern of lies, deception, and hyped fear. This time the potential consequences are devastating.
Besides irradiating widespread areas inside and beyond Iran's borders, embroiling the entire region may result. General war involving China and Russia could follow.
Risks this great should be avoided at all costs. Wars are never the right option. Waging them assures endless violence and destruction.
This one should give Washington's most belligerent hawks pause. If nuclear bunker busters are used, a potential holocaust could follow. Imagine leaders willing to risk it. Imagine the aftermath if they do.