The recent intelligence report out of the United States regarding Iran's nuclear program has causes shockwaves around the world. Until it came out, it was widely assumed that Iran was racing as fast as it could towards acquiring a nuclear bomb with which to threaten Israel and the rest of the civilized world. The report states that as early as 2003 Iran stopped developing its nuclear program and isn't to be considered a threat in that area.
Oh, and apparently the Pope's an Episcopalian, as well.
To say that politics in the US is immersed in venom is an understatement. George W. Bush isn't disliked by his opponents. He is loathed with a passion that defies logic. Thus some people explain that this report is an attempt to discredit Bush and his efforts to beat the war drums against Iran although it is difficult to believe that all 16 intelligence agencies would cooperate on such a goal without anyone knowing about it.
Another thought is that this report is, in fact, part of Bush's strategy against Iran. It's apparently well known that Iran's economy is not doing well. Despite billions of of petro-dollars, there are multiple domestic shortages including gasoline for cars! Like other petro-countries Iran survives economically by virtue of a $95 barrel of oil. The price of oil, in turn, is partially kept that inflated by the rumours of war in the Persian Gulf and the havoc it would cause the oil market. By releasing a report that shows Iran is not a threat and therefore forcing the US to publicly abandon its pressure against Iran, the result might be a dramatic drop in the price of oil, causing Iran's economy to collapse. Perhaps the domestic unrest that would result might sweep the mullahs from power and help establish a more rational government in Iran.
Certainly there are many influences in this arena that we, the common people, are simply not aware of. Since that is the case, prudence is always the best course of action which is why I liked Avi Dichter's comments recently. No matter what the report says, Israel must continue to put its long-term safety as its priority. Dichter's comments are blunt:
The American misconception concerning Iran's nuclear weapons may lead to a regional Yom Kippur, in which Israel will be among the countries that are threatened," said Dichter, speaking at a "Cultural Shabbat" talk in Bat Yam. Dichter blamed the Israeli government for failing to provide the United States with insufficient information. "The softened intelligence report proves that Israel failed to provide the Americans with the whole picture concerning the Iranian nuclear threat," he said.
Keep in mind this is the same American intelligence community that knew nothing of the Syrian nuclear site that Israel recently bombed. If the same people worked on this report, then Israel must continue to assume that Iran's nuclear program is proceeding full-stream ahead.