Several weeks ago at the Iran conference I organized here in Seattle, Muhammad Sahimi was asked about the Times of London report that an Iranian intelligence memo purportedly claimed that country was developing a nuclear triggering device that could ignite a nuclear weapon. The force of this report was that Iran was forging full steam ahead with its plan to develop and utilize nuclear weapons. Sahimi, an expert in Iran’s nuclear program, said in no uncertain terms that neither the supposed Iranian document nor the media report were reliable. Turns out he was right. And how right!
U.S. intelligence has concluded that the document published recently by the Times of London, which purportedly describes an Iranian plan to do experiments on what the newspaper described as a “neutron initiator” for an atomic weapon, is a fabrication, according to a former Central Intelligence Agency official.
Philip Giraldi, who was a CIA counterterrorism official from 1976 to 1992, told IPS that intelligence sources say that the United States had nothing to do with forging the document, and that Israel is the primary suspect.
I have been blogging for a year or more about the nefarious role Israeli diplomats and intelligence operatives are playing regarding the Iranian nuclear issue. Mostly I’ve been reporting about how this has played out within the U.S. I’ve noted that Israel has exploited the media to put out a bellicose narrative about Iranian intentions. This new report of a possible Mossad forgery is of a piece with everything I’ve written previously.
The following passage has to make you suspect any and all reporting on Iran emanating from the Murdoch-rag, the Times of the London:
The Times of London story published Dec. 14 did not identify the source of the document. But it quoted “an Asian intelligence source” – a term some news media have used for Israeli intelligence officials – as confirming that his government believes Iran was working on a neutron initiator as recently as 2007.
…”The Rupert Murdoch chain has been used extensively to publish false intelligence from the Israelis and occasionally from the British government,” Giraldi said.
What is particularly cynical about the forgery if it was perpetrated by the Mossad is that they care little whether their chicanery has been discovered. By then, the original fraudulent report has been absorbed into the political atmosphere and tilted the balance against Iran and in favor of Israeli interests in demonizing that country. In other words, the damage has been done and it’s hard to put that genie back in the bottle.
Also disgusting about this report if true, is that either the U.S. or Israel could go to war against Iran on the basis, once again (cf. Iraq), of fraudulent claims by intelligence agencies which have their own political agendas. The Mossad doesn’t care a whit about the thousands of Iranians, Americans and even Israelis who may be killed as a result of such hostilities. For them, it’s part of geopolitical gamesmanship aimed at protecting Israeli hegemony in its sphere of influence. Iran is little more than a foil for their machinations.
There may be some in the Mossad who truly do believe Iran is an existential threat to Israel which must be stopped at all costs (though I have my doubts). But just because their delusions are sincere doesn’t mean we should let them lead us down the garden path to a Middle East conflagration. Caveat emptor! As I was writing this I thought of that wonderful old political slogan aimed at Richard Nixon: “Would you buy a used car from this man?” This should also apply to the level of trust we place in the Mossad, the Times of London, or any party with its own agenda around the subject of Iran’s nuclear program: “Would you buy a used conflict from this intelligence agency/newspaper?”
H/t to Dick Blakney.