Washington, Dec 3, 2007
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) issued the following statement amid a new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report affirming that Iran does not have an active weapons program:
“The rhetoric coming from the Bush Administration over the last several months has publicly and systematically set the stage for war with Iran,” Kucinich said. “But this report shows that the Administration’s case for war is in direct opposition to the facts as stated in the NIE report.
The NIE report concluded that if Iran were to end the freeze of its weapons program, it would still be at least two years before they would have enough highly enriched uranium to produce a nuclear bomb and it would be “very unlikely” Iran could produce enough material by then.
Last year John Negroponte, the Director of National Intelligence, asserted that Iran was only 4-5 years away from obtaining a nuclear bomb. But the NIE report concludes it is more likely Iran wouldn’t be able to achieve this goal before 2013, because of technical and programmatic problems.
“As this new report shows, there is no threat to the international community from Iran right now, or in the near future. The report doubles the amount of estimated time until Iran would be able to build a nuclear bomb,” Kucinich said.
“The Bush Administration has falsely led the American people into believing that Iran was developing nuclear weapons, as recently as last month. Belligerence and obfuscation is the same foreign policy that brought us to war with Iraq.
The report overturns a judgment made about Iran’s nuclear capabilities in 2005. Intelligence agencies said with “high confidence” at the time that Iran is determined to have nuclear weapons. But new information led officials to conclude that international pressure, including tough economic sanctions, were successful in halting Iran’s secret program.
“This report is further evidence that Iran can be deterred from weapons development if their other national priorities are met.
“The fact that Iran — a country President Bush labeled as part of the ‘axis of evil’ — caved to international pressure and does not have an active weapons program proves the value of diplomacy as an important tool on the international stage,” Kucinich concluded.
Kucinich has repeatedly warned against going to war with Iran. He has spoken numerous times on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives about the lack of evidence for a war.
New intelligence debunks Bush arguments on Iran threat, calls Dem candidates’ judgment into question
by Dennis Kucinich
Dec. 4, 2007
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today’s report by U.S. intelligence agencies that Iran – contrary to previous claims – ended its nuclear weapons program in 2003 “is proof positive that this pro-war administration has been manipulating intelligence and that the Presidential candidates’ all-options-are-on-the-table posture with respect to Iran reflects their inability to recognize when they’re being duped — again.”
So said Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, the only Democratic candidate who voted against the Iraq war authorization in 2002 and the only candidate who voted against every supplemental appropriation since. Kucinich is also the only candidate who has warned, for months, that the President has been setting the stage for a possible war with Iran, facilitated by the approval and acquiescence of the Democrat-controlled Congress.
“The President and Vice President have been beating the war drums, and the House and the Senate have been dancing to that beat,” Kucinich said. “Iran is a war crime in motion, and the Congress and the Presidential candidates either can’t or won’t recognize that.”
And, “whatever feeble fall-back statements that the top-polling Democratic Presidential candidates – Clinton, Obama, and Edwards – make today, all three have repeatedly said that all options are on the table with respect to Iran,” Kucinich pointed out.
“All options,” Kucinich said, “include everything from tactical nukes to air strikes to incursions and invasion by U.S. ground troops who are already over-stretched in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“We’ve already lost almost 4,000 brave men and women to a war they should never have been sent to, and now, the White House, with the collaboration of the Congress, is preparing to open a new front based on intelligence that has been proven wrong.”
“The threat to peace and the facilitation of another war rests with those who bow to the President’s personal and political agenda for an expanded war. They allowed themselves to be deceived and fooled five years ago, and they have fallen into that same foolish trap today. The people of this nation deserve better than pawns of George Bush.”
In view of the new U.S. intelligence report, Kucinich said he would demand that the other candidates explain their susceptibility to Bush’s claims of Iranian nuclear threats. “They were wrong five years ago on Iraq. They were wrong this year and Iran, and, heaven help us if they reach the Oval Office and they’re wrong again,” Kucinich said.
He said that his own intelligence analysis in 2002 clearly refuted the Administration’s claims about the threat that Iraq posed and its alleged stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Kucinich’s analysis of recent independent reports, including those from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) led him to the conclusion that Iran is no more a threat to U.S. national security than Iraq was. “Why can’t Senators Clinton, Obama, and Edwards recognize that their threatening statements and actions against Iran are not only naïve and foolhardy, they are also diplomatically and militarily provocative? Our own intelligence reports have proven them wrong.”
“Whatever those candidates say today, remember what they said before: Iran must be stopped at all cost. The fact that Iran stopped pursuing nuclear weaponry four years ago is more than an inconvenient revelation for those candidates. It’s an indictment of their judgment and their qualifications to lead this nation.”
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