Here we have a classic case of Bush saying “Look at me… I still care about security, but I want to direct fear towards a certain geographic area…”
U.S. President George W. Bush said yesterday that Iran has openly admitted an intention to develop nuclear weapons, challenging a U.S. intelligence assertion that Tehran had suspended its nuclear weapons program in 2003, the Washington Post reported (see GSN, March 20).
‚ÄúThey‚Äôve declared they want to have a nuclear weapon to destroy people ‚Äî some in the Middle East,‚Äù he said.
‚ÄúThat‚Äôs unacceptable to the United States, and it‚Äôs unacceptable to the world,‚Äù Bush told Radio Farda, a U.S.-funded station that broadcasts into Iran.
Iran analysts and proliferation experts quickly refuted Bush‚Äôs statement.
‚ÄúThat‚Äôs as uninformed as (U.S. Senator John) McCain‚Äôs statement that Iran is training al-Qaeda. Iran has never said it wanted a nuclear weapon for any reason. It‚Äôs just not true. It‚Äôs a little troubling that the president and the leading Republican candidate are both so wrong about Iran,‚Äù said nuclear proliferation expert Joseph Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund.
But we have someone in the National Security Council to clean up the cheerios from Bush’s playtime:
According to National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe, Bush‚Äôs comment was intended to address past Iranian statements calling for the destruction of Israel.
‚ÄúThe president shorthanded his answer with regard to Iran‚Äôs previously secret nuclear weapons program and their current enrichment and ballistic missile testing,‚Äù he said.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Treasury Department urged caution from U.S. banks regarding potential transactions with Iranian financial institutions. ‚ÄúThe government of Iran disguises its involvement in proliferation and terrorism activities through an array of deceptive practices,‚Äù the department said in a statement.
Stay tuned, it might get ugly. I was looking for a picture of Bush to include in this post, but It made me kinda sad.