In Detailing ‘Threat’ WikiLeaks Cable Underscores Iran’s Lack of Weapons Interest

Iran Could Have Made Nuclear Weapons in 2009, But Didn't

by Jason Ditz, January 20, 2011

A March 2009 WikiLeaks cable which, at the time of its release, probably would have been spun amongst officials as a major “smoking gun” about Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program, was released today. Two years later, the same information appears to demolish the various administration allegations against Iran.

That’s because in March 2009 US officials were fretting over Iran’s capability to enrich uranium to the weapons grade levels “if it so chose” and, consequently, had the capability to make the nuclear weapons that the US has been making such a big deal about.

The capability of the Natanz facility, which the document is referring to, to enrich uranium to this level was never in serious doubt, though it is worth noting that Press Secretary Robert Gibbs rejected the notion that they had such a capability in early 2010.

But the cable only really becomes interesting when you take into account several additional documents released by the IAEA, all of which detail the operations at Natanz and all of which, despite raising other questions, are able to verify with absolute certainty that Iran never has enriched uranium above 20 percent (and that in very small quantities), far below the level needed for weapons (which experts put in the 90-95 range).

In other words, the Obama Administration confirmed, two years ago, that Iran had the capability to produce nuclear weapons, and they simply didn’t. All of the administration’s rhetoric since March 2009 falls apart in the face of this one, unavoidable fact, that despite the program’s ability to theoretically produce nuclear arms, it has continued to exclusively operate for civilian purposes.

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