In an interview today on ABC News’ This Week with George Stephanopoulus, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen alleged that Iran has a “strategic objective” to create nuclear weapons and that their leadership is committed to it.
When pressed on America’s own National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) which said that Iran does not have an active nuclear weapons program, Admiral Mullen conceded that “I haven’t seen – or I wouldn’t speak to any details about what they (Iran) are doing with respect to that (actually working on a nuclear weapon). He then expressed exasperation at the US intelligence community for its “focus on what we know,” and that “I’m concerned about what Iran might be doing that we don’t know.”
Stephanopoulus, a former official in the Clinton Administration, pressed Mullen further on Iran’s public position against nuclear weapons, and the Ayatollah Khamenei’s fatwa against the weapons. The admiral dodged the question, saying he didn’t believe Iran really meant it and then speculated that Iran might have such weapons in 1-3 years.
In the end Admiral Mullen, the top ranking military official in the nation, refused to speculate about an attack on the nation, and conceded that he didn’t personally have a problem with Iran having a civilian nuclear energy program. Yet it was his desire to dismiss “what we know” in favor of speculating about things that might be happening that will likely have the most serious ramifications on foreign policy.