Contrary to Widespread Claims, There Is NO EVIDENCE that Iran Is Building a Nuclear Weapon

George Washington's picture


Even Israel Admits that Iran Has Not Decided to Build a Nuclear Bomb


Earlier this month, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said:

Are they [the Iranians] trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No. But we know that they’re trying to develop a nuclear capability. And that’s what concerns us.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper confirmed in a Senate hearing – following the release of the classified National Intelligence Estimate in 2011 – that he has a “high level of confidence” that Iran “has not made a decision as of this point to restart its nuclear weapons program.”

Mohamed ElBaradei – who spent more than a decade as the director of the IAEA – said that he had not “seen a shred of evidence” that Iran was pursuing the bomb.

Six former ambassadors to Iran within the last decade say that there is no evidence that Iran is building nuclear weapons, and that Iran is complying with international law.

The International Atomic Energy Agency states:

All nuclear material in the facility remains under the Agency’s containment and surveillance.

In other words, all nuclear fuel is accounted for and is being controlled and monitored by the international agency tasked with nuclear non-proliferation.

What about Iran’s enriching uranium to 20%? The IAEA considers 20 percent enriched uranium to be low-enriched uranium and “a fully adequate isotopic barrier” to weaponization. In other words, 20% is well within the legal guidelines for developing a program of nuclear energy.

Indeed, under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran is acting in a wholly legal fashion. As the six former ambassadors cited above note:

In terms of international law, the position of Europe and the United States may be less assured than is generally believed.




Most experts, even in Israel, view Iran as striving to become a “threshold country”, technically able to produce a nuclear weapon but abstaining from doing so for now. Again, nothing in international law forbids this ambition. Several other countries are close to, or have already reached, such a threshold, with a commitment not to acquire nuclear weapons. Nobody seems to bother them.

Nuclear physicist Yousaf Butt – former fellow in the Committee on International Security and Arms Control at the National Academy of Sciences, scientific consultant for the Federation of American Scientists, and frequent contributor to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists – points out:

Iran is not doing anything that violates its legal right to develop nuclear technology. Under the NPT, it is not illegal for a member state to have a nuclear weapons capability — or a “nuclear option.” If a nation has a fully developed civilian nuclear sector — which the NPT actually encourages — it, by default, already has a fairly solid nuclear weapons capability. For example, like Iran, Argentina, Brazil, and Japan also maintain a “nuclear option” — they, too, could break out of the NPT and make a nuclear device in a few months, if not less. And like Iran, Argentina and Brazil also do not permit full “Additional Protocol” IAEA inspections.


The real legal red line, specified in the IAEA’s “Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements,” is the diversion of nuclear materials to a weapons program. However, multiple experts and official reports have affirmed over the years that they have no evidence that any such program exists.

But didn’t the latest IAEA report say that Iran was trying to build a bomb?

Not really. The latest IAEA report states that Iran’s research program into nuclear weapons:

Was stopped rather abruptly pursuant to a ‘halt order’ instruction issued in late 2003.

While there are some allegations about documents found on a laptop, those documents apparently came from a terrorist group with zero credibility.

In any event, the current accusations against Iran by hawks pushing for an attack cannot be taken in a vacuum:

  • The people pushing for war against Iran are the same neocons who pushed for war against Iraq based on false statements that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. See this, this and this
  • The U.S. has been claiming for more than 30 years that Iran was on the verge of nuclear capability (and the U.S. apparently helped fund the Iranian nuclear program)
  • The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950?s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister
  • Pulitzer-prize winning investigative reporter Seymour Hersh says that the Bush administration (and especially Dick Cheney) helped to fund terrorist groups within Iran (see confirming articles here and here)
  • The New York Times, Washington Post and others are reporting, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, former national security adviser Fran Townsend and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey – who all said that the terrorists were going to get us if we didn’t jettison the liberties granted under the Bill of Rights – are now supporting terrorists in Iran
  • The war against Iran has already begun. See this, this and this



It has been widely report that Iran’s president threatened to “wipe Israel off the map”. However, numerous experts in Iranian language and culture say that this was a mistranslation.

I speak no Farsi, know nothing about Iranian culture or idioms, and don’t like Iran’s president or hardline Mullahs. So I can’t weigh in one way or the other.

However, Iran has not attacked another country in hundreds of years. (In the Iran-Iraq war, Iraq was the initial aggressor.) As such, it is unlikely to start one now.



There is a simple solution to the escalating rumors of war. Specifically, a fuel swap would end the tensions. As Butt writes:

[A commentator] proposes a fuel swap to resolve the nuclear standoff: Iran would curtail its enrichment in exchange for foreign-supplied 20 percent enriched uranium fuel plates for its research reactor. In fact, in 2010, just such a deal was brokered by Turkey and Brazil but the United States could not take “yes” for an answer. Though Iran has just accepted an offer of new talks brokered by Turkey, new sanctions passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama have made it even more unlikely that the two sides can reach an agreement.



Even if Iran were trying to build a bomb, American military and intelligence chiefs say that attacking Iran would only speed up its development of nuclear weapons, empower its hardliners, and undermine the chance for democratic reform.

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boiltherich's picture

The one thing just about everybody agrees upon on any side of the argument or political divide is that Panetta is full of shit. 

honestann's picture

No, Fukashima WILL cause thousands of cancer deaths.  And you can count on that.  But people take a while to develop cancer, discover their cancer, and more time to finally die from their cancer.  Humans are terminally stupid.

All I can say is, go have a plutonium sandwich for lunch, buddy.

Captain Nukem's picture

No, Fukashima WILL cause thousands of cancer deaths.

No, George Washington cited a report claiming 20,000 deaths in the US already:

The authors of the controversial study claiming 14,000 deaths in the U.S. so far from Fukushima are now upping their figure to 20,000.

So 20,000 deaths in the US after less than a year? Wouldn't that imply hundreds of thousands or even millions in Japan? And no one noticed all these deaths?

Also, I thought radiation cancers usually take decades to appear. But all these people developed cancer and even died from it in less than a year?

I am not saying radiation is safe. But I am saying that GW is an idiot for giving credence to such exaggerated claims.

honestann's picture

I went and read the GW article you linked to.  It did NOT say they died from cancer at all.  In fact, if you following the links back to the two audio interviews he got his information from, you'll find those "increases in deaths" versus normal/expected were NOT from cancer, they were from other diseases that people could not fight because the radiation compromised their immune systems.  These sources clearly stated that they cannot prove the increase in deaths versus expected and normal are all due to the radioactive pollution, but the timing and nature of the deaths exactly fits that scenario.

As for Japan, who knows what's going on there, but also, if you watched the time-lapse videos of how the radioactive material was blown around in the atmosphere, you'd know that most of the radioactive material was blown directly eastward == off coast.  So how much various parts of Japan would get is difficult to tell, but quite possibly not as much as places across the pacific.

Maybe you should read a bit more carefully before you go nuts.

Element's picture

At least GW mentions that Iran is seeking a formal threshold state status.

However, I think it is pure fantasy to imagine Iran have not already done that ... informally.

Widowmaker's picture

No evidence, no problem!

Facts will not get in the way of profits and empire expansion in the name of economic growth or "jobs."

ANY attack is for Joe 6er (afterall he's doing the fighting), and everyone else that can't find Iran on a map.


kito's picture

wait, so iran doesnt want to build nuclear bombs, then agitate another country into war, then drop two of those nuclear bombs on said country?? which country was the only one in history to do this?....hmmmmm.........cant seem to remember.............

stocktivity's picture

But...But....Obama needs a new war for his re-election.

alien-IQ's picture

No American president has ever lost a re-election campaign during a war. He is not oblivious to this fact.

And before anybody throws LBJ in the soup here...I said "RE-ELECTION".

honestann's picture

No American president has ever lost a re-election campaign during a war. He is not oblivious to this fact.

Yeah, well it is time for americans to wake the frack up and elect someone not itching for war.  Aren't americans getting tired of this crap yet?  What?  They're so bummed out about their own economy they want to see others suffer to make them feel better?  Let's hope not.

DaveyJones's picture

we were screaming about the wars as the last boys moved out. Why have we alll shut up?

Bringin It's picture

Sorry, but elections appear to be total bullshit.

Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

Hi Muhammed,

Do you invest in small pop stats too?

I wonder why not.

Incumbents win 70% of the the time in presidential elections anyway.

Aslam Alekem Brother.

Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

Why would Iran want nuclear weapons it makes no sense whatsoever?

Good thing is even if they did, the mighty military powers of Europe can take out the trash like they did with Daffy.

BTW the wipe Israel and the US off the map was a gross misinterpretation.

the crowd responding with "down with America" misunderstood what the radical muzzie said as well.

The whole problem in a nutshell is just how misunderstood the radical islamic muzzie happens to be,

he just wants left alone to stone women and kill gays and everything else will be copacetic.

Asalam Alekem.

alien-IQ's picture

Stone women? Like this you mean?:

JERUSALEM – A group of ultra orthodox men threw stones at a woman in Israel because she was wearing Western clothes.

The woman said she feared for her life and was afraid that the men would put her on fire.

According to the newspaper Haaretz, the incident happened on Tuesday in Beit Shemesh, west of Jerusalem and was the plot of an ultra orthodox Jewish group that campaigns against “indiscreet clothing”.

The men jumped the car the woman was driving, smashed in its windows, poured bleach inside the vehicle and slashed all tires. When the woman tried to escape the men began throwing stones and small rocks at her.


Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

Hi Muhammed,

I guess obsessive compulsive disorder and ignore are not compatible?

No actually I mean as a way of life not as the gross exception but thanks for playing.

You know kind of like the female genital mutialiation where any site that follows it clearly lists Iran as a perpetual offender.

I get it though, you believe women are sub human so who gives a shit?

Have you worked on your writing yet so it stops implying you are American?

anyway shouldn't you be out murdering some gays somewhere about now?

Aslam Alekem Brother.


Element's picture

female genital mutialiation


So equally barbarous male genital mutialiation is ok?

Does it make being a fag less disease prone?

john39's picture

hmm... i haven't hear the "love it or leave it" line for awhile...  normally on zero hedge the posters aim for slightly above retard.  some just can't make the cut, maybe too slow figure that out.   just please, don't call me achmed, it really hurts my feelings.

earleflorida's picture

why would they [Iran] ? good question.

[libya, pakistan, n. korea, malaysia, israel, and china?]

and does 1948 ring a bell? it should!

trav7777's picture

Iran IS developing the capability to have an atomic weapon (not thermonuclear, that is different).

However, they are a long way from it and can't get there easily without a reactor.  Uranium enrichment is the slow way to achieve this capability and it isn't easy.

Element's picture

The U235 path is very cheap, as South Africa proved, with much lower technical leaps required, much less radioactive products, or toxic mess, to either process or to hide, and to design a low yield munition. SILEX was reported in 2002 to be somewhere over 20 times more efficient than any process before it.

i.e. very fast and hidden

SAT 800's picture

There's no evidence I don't wack off every day to tranny porn either; but that doesn't mean I don't.

akak's picture

Your semen-encrusted keyboard begs to differ.

Alcoholic Native American's picture

Well to true believers all of these artifical borders will eventually be wiped off the map.  There will be nothing left but the Ummah. 

I hope to see Israel wiped from the map too.  Nationalism is for retards. The whole world belongs to Allah.

SAT 800's picture

The Ummah? oh, cool; is that the hit dance tune, Ummah-Ummah. I think Brookers on You-Tube did a video on that, Ummah-Ummah, number one ! Yeah.

BanjoDoug's picture

Just becasue you say there is NO EVIDENCE (as per some special definition) DOESN'T mean they aren't building one.....   Now personally I am not in favor of invading them, or letting the euro-edomite-elites steal/control their oil.....  it's on their land, let them sell it w/o intervention....   NTL, why wouldn't they want this sort of weapon system, lots of other less developed countries with way less world history have them, so why wouldn't they want their own?   Although, another country having one is not gonna make things more stable.......    but I can't see why they too wouldn't want to achieve this goal.

Mesquite's picture

It's a looong path from 20% to 98%....


Element's picture

It's a looong path from 20% to 98%....


Goodness sake, what makes anyone think that?


Natural uranium is a mix of 138 times the stuff you don't want, to the stuff you do want (to get bombs).

20% HEU is a mix is 5 times the stuff you don't want, to the stuff you do want (to get bombs).

How much clearer do you want it?

At 20% HEU you are rapidly nearing the end of an exponentially accelerating process.

that is why people are freaking-out about Iran building up a very large stock of 20% HEU.

The bigger the Iranian national stock of this becomes, the quicker and sooner Iran must be treated as a defacto nuclear power.

Because you then can not dare to geopolitically presume it isn't.

And I would argue that the only reason they are doing this overtly now is because they feel very secure - already.

And that to me implies they already have a small stock of genuine weapon-grade HEU, maybe enough for 10 bombs.

If you doubt this you need to read about the history of the South African bomb program, tiny budget, small (mostly black) workforce, mostly poorly educated and low paid, and did not even know what it was they were working on, and only a small core of specialists who did know. And a crude and simple very-low efficiency separation technology, but still managed enrich to fabricate 7 weapon cores in about 10 years without anyone even knowing about it until the South Africans exposed it, and it's tremendous success.

Hate to keep bringing it to everyone's attention, but Iran has had better technology and capacity to do this for over 22 years, and it is delusional to think that under grave startegic threat, it just sat on its hands.


South African A-bomb program details:


An Iranian functional miniaturised HEU munition which they have zero-yield developed and tested, during the past 20 years will exist.

 That is a given.

And you can bet that pre-fabricated 'weaponised' delivery systems and control systems already exist, and are just awaiting delivery of HEU cores.

These items would have been completed first - not last.

That's how it really goes when a country goes down the HEU path to A-bombs.


My own view is the 'West' now realises it will be in a for a genuinely major war if it attacks Iran at this point, and Israel realises such an attack is thus probably not going to occur, so each wants to discourage Iran from doing anything silly in the Strait, and away from testing a real one. 

i.e.  They want the status quo maintained as though nothing has changed.

They would elect to just ignore an Iranian bomb's existence, like they ignore the Israeli bomb's existence.

But Iran has a few demands, mostly about Israel and sanctions and the USD, and NATO in the region.

So this is still far from over, and a battle and blocking of the strait is not out of the question yet.

SamAdams1234's picture

I call logical Bull patties: Just because you say there is NO EVIDENCE -- Doesn't mean thery don't have fuzzy bears and Doctor Denton's.

Heyoka Bianco's picture

And there's news here? There's an excellent article that I can't at the moment remember where I read that pinpoints the real cause: the demise of the petrodollar, with China and Russia at the forefront. Of course, the US never really gets in a fight with anybody who can seriously hit back, so it's Iran that takes the punches for their bigger, burlier friends.

DaveyJones's picture

we may hit on their little sister but that will bring out her big brothers. Sick and frightening times. Human beings are just stupid enough to blow each other up over oil and the dollar 

earleflorida's picture

the beginning:

hungarian born theodor herzel [1860-1904] was the original implementer, and organizer of "the first zionist congress" created in "*Basel*, Switzerland" in 1897 

now,... follow the timeline of the "twelve [12]" meetings -very interesting how well thought out the plan was and a suddenly illusive  "Balfour [Agreement] Declaration" became a reality **{note the date? / 1921 - end of WWI}

earleflorida's picture

Iran's "Tudah" Communist Party [see also: Operation TPBEDAMN]

Iran-Contra,... CIA and Russians

should shed some light on how Iran feels about communism - in fact the entire Islam World, looks with distain towards atheism {China/Russia?} 

alien-IQ's picture

One thing to keep a close eye on is the presence of the USS Enterprise in the Persian Gulf.

As mentioned here:
"Panetta also told the crowd of 1,700 gathered in the hangar bay of the USS Enterprise that the ship is heading to the Persian Gulf region and will steam through the Strait of Hormuz in a direct message to Tehran."

The USS Enterprise is scheduled to be decommissioned next year. It has 8 nuclear reactors on board. It will be quite expensive to dismantle and dispose of...unless, it is sunk.

Might this be the sacrificial lamb for the false flag that launches the war? Gulf of Tonkin ring a bell? Perhaps the USS Liberty?

Maybe I'm reading too much into it...but it's worth keeping an eye on it...Just in case.

honestann's picture

What you suggests sounds exactly like them!  They'd love to pollute their waters with nuclear waste and have some way to spin it as being the fault of Iran.

Mesquite's picture

Interesting..Sort of reminds of how the Twin Towers were due to be cleaned up of all that asbestoes removal..Another expensive proposition..Hmmm

DaveyJones's picture

that was my very first thought too. good work A-IQ

geno-econ's picture

This appears to be a  watershed moment but many questions remain arguing for delay  


Will sanctions be applied or postponed indefinatly ?

Will China go along with sanctions long term ?

So far Defense Dept.  reportedly adverse to use of military power inside Iran----only defensively in Str. of Hormuz

Will Neocons influence in Wash. be neutralized by those outside of Wash.--- primarily China and Russia ?   

Will Israel act unilaterally without US support ?

Will election year politics work for or against seeking solutions ?

How will next administration deal with Iran ?

MrBoompi's picture

Iran has oil and natural gas, a LOT of both, they are not a part of our central bank system, and they have even talked about selling oil for gold (or other currencies besides USD).

These three things all mean Iran has WMD and must be attacked.  It does NOT matter if it's true or not.

Element's picture

er, no ... it does matter quite a lot if they do have them and you pound them to dust ... they could take out a certain part of central london ... or certain key oil fields.

It matters. If you don't know then don't fuck with them.

Precautionary principle bitchez.

ilovefreedom's picture

This is the correct answer: monopoly of petro transactions vis a vis so-called petro dollars.


honestann's picture

The federal government of the USSA just forced them into selling oil to China, India and Russia in exchange for gold.  That's how they get around the US prohibiting other nations from dealing with their [central] banks.  No need for banks when you deal in gold, only when you deal in paper.  Who wants fiat, fake, fraud, fiction, fantasy, fractional-reserve debt-toilet-paper anyway?

This will make Iran economically stronger as the gold they receive increases in value as federal reserve notes crash and burn.  Another blowback from the crew that is most expert in history at causing blowback.  Morons.

FrankDrakman's picture

Don't you see what's going to happen? Once the Iratians accumulate enough gold, TPTB will sneak in to their vault, and blow up one of the Iratians own nuclear devices in it, thus making all their gold radioactive and hence worthless.

There was a documentary made about this technique in the early 1960's. I believe it was called Goldfinger. 

honestann's picture

Good one.  I wouldn't be surprised if this loony crew got half their ideas from old movies.

akak's picture

"Do you expect me to talk, Rothschild?"

"No, Mr. Ahmadinejad --- I expect you to die!"

DaveyJones's picture

great post. I keep saying the same thing, morons. All of these assinine adventures are increasing our economic enemies and accelerating the fall.

PORTA PORTA's picture

Here is where the big game is played...

Greece's - mediterranean Oil n Nat Gaz reserves.



The Alarmist's picture

I would be willing to give Iran a little latitude here rather than to keep ratcheting the tensions up and banging the war drums. After all, if they were to strike first, the likely targets would be DC or NYC, neither of which would be much of a loss.