News Release

Iran Deal: “Nonsense” and Realities

GARETH PORTER, porter.gareth50 at gmail.com, @GarethPorter
An investigative journalist and author of Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, Porter recently wrote Behind the Scenes: How the U.S. and Iran Reached Their Landmark Deal,” which states: “The story that I have assembled includes several surprising revelations. It shows that in the first few days of negotiations, the most important and difficult issues were quickly resolved, in large part because of moves by the Obama administration to reconcile the interests of the two sides. But it also reveals that the administration hardened its line and even slowed progress in the final stage of the talks, mainly for domestic political reasons.”

His other recent pieces include: “Barak’s Tales of Israel’s Near War with Iran Conceal the Real Story.” The Times of Israel reports: “In a remarkable departure from decades of nuclear secrecy, Israel’s military censors permitted … Mordechai Vanunu [who exposed Israel’s nuclear weapons to the British Sunday Times in 1986] to give a lengthy interview to prime time Israeli television on Friday night, in a move that took Israel closer than ever to acknowledging the existence of its nuclear arsenal.”

IMAD KHADDURI, imad.khadduri at gmail.com
Currently in Qatar, Khadduri is an Iraqi nuclear scientist and author of the books Iraq’s Nuclear Mirage: Memoirs and Delusions and Unrevealed Milestones in the Iraqi National Nuclear Program 1981-1991. He now runs the “Free Iraq” blog. He has closely followed the Iran nuclear deal and has a 30-page paper forthcoming from the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies in Doha: “The Iranian Nuclear Project: Military or Civilian?” In a recent accuracy.org news release, Khadduri states: “The Iranian nuclear program is peaceful.”

Dick Cheney, speaking at the American Enterprise Institute Tuesday claimed: “In 1981, the Israelis launched an air attack against the Iraqi nuclear facility at Osirik, setting back Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program.” [PDF; See: “Protester Interrupts Cheney Speech.”]

Also Tuesday, Lindsey Graham — who, like Cheney, made numerous statements claiming Iraq had weapons of mass destruction during the buildup to the 2003 invasion of that country — claimed at the National Press Club: “The one thing I can say about Israel and nuclear weapons: Not one Arab state has felt the need to go down the nuclear road because of Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons.” See video clip.

Khadduri said today: “This is nonsense. I worked on the pre-1981 nuclear program and I was certain it would not be used for military purposes. But after the 1981 bombing, we were so angry that we were ready to work on a military program. The Israeli attack didn’t end the Iraqi nuclear weapons program — it began it.” See: “Myth: Israel’s Strike on Iraqi Reactor Hindered Iraqi Nukes.”

Prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Khadduri argued that, contrary to what the Bush administration and others were claiming, the Iraqi nuclear weapons program had been dismantled in the 1990s. In a November 21, 2002 article, a few months before the invasion, “Iraq’s nuclear non-capability,” he wrote: “Bush and Blair are pulling their public by the nose, covering their hollow patriotic egging on with once again shoddy intelligence. But the two parading emperors have no clothes.” In March 2003, he wrote “Cheney’s Bogus Nuclear Weapon.”

Background: Cheney claimed Saddam Hussein “is actively pursuing nuclear weapons at this time.” (March 24, 2002, CNN). Similarly, “He is lying, Tim, when he says he doesn’t have weapons of mass destruction,” Lindsay Graham said on Meet the Press on March 2, 2003.