The hype about the latest IAEA report about Iran’s nuclear program was much more frightening than the actual content. Yesterday, Joseph Cirincione, the president of the Ploughshares Fund, an organization devoted to preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, informed a seemingly stunned Tony Birtley that most of what’s been revealed “is not new”.
Tony Harris: What does it say that’s significant to you about the work that Iran is doing now?
Joseph Cirincione: What’s significant actually is that there isn’t that much currently going on, almost all this work is pre-2003. It’s all old data. It all came from that laptop you referred to, the laptop of death, that was disclosed in 2004. There’s suspicions of some work and there’s evidence of some work still going on, particularly computer modelling, but there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of a crash program to build a warhead. That’s what’s so significant. It’s very clear from this report that Iran has not, HAS NOT, made a decision to go to a nuclear weapon, that a nuclear weapon is not imminent or inevitable and thus there’s still time to use diplomacy to convince Iran not to go ahead and build a nuclear weapon.