Israeli Media 30-Year ‘Reign of Error’ Predicting Iranian Nuke
Israel (and western ) media have a long history of predicting an impending Iranian nuke. That history goes back at least to 1984 if not before. Thanks to Israeli blogger and reporter for Calcalist, Omer Kabir, we have this history (Hebrew) in headlines and screenshots from Israel’s media. Scott Peterson performed the same research to prepare this timeline of world media predictions. Prof. Muhammad Sahimi published his own report on this subject here. Nima Shirazi also prepared his own here.
What’s most unfortunate about all this is that a blast from the past is not past, but present. The delusions which Israel’s media and leaders harbored in 1984 are the same they harbor today. No lessons learned.
It reminds me of Orwell’s Ministry Truth from 1984. Every time Big Brother made a prediction that turned out false, the ministry’s job was to go back and rewrite history, falsifying the original prediction to conform with reality. That’s why this blog exists–not to allow the Israeli equivalent.
To those who decry the Geneva nuclear agreement, claiming it at most delays Iran’s nuclear threshold by a month or two, remember this illustrious history of miserable failed predictions.
Kabir calls this Israeli illusion, Xeno’s Paradox, always drawing closer, never arriving. Khrushchev, according to Billmon, is also reputed to have similarly consoled the Politburo members when they asked how long it would take to bring ‘true Communism’ to the Soviet Union:
“We all know, comrades, that the horizon constantly recedes as we approach it.”
So here is the honor roll of Israeli media delusion concerning an Iranian bomb (featured in accompanying image):
Khomeini’s atomic bomb enters final stages of production with German assistance.
–Maariv, April 25 1984
It should be noted that the Jane’s Defense Weekly report on which this story is based actually said an Iranian bomb was “two years” away. It also quoted sources in the U.S. and elsewhere who denied the prediction. Here is Micha Zenko’s report on that interesting historical footnote in the annals of nuclear prediction. That didn’t stop Maariv from throwing the fear of Khomeini into Israelis.
Also note on Maariv’s front page, the historic oddity of then-Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir, an Ashkenazi immigrant from Poland, dancing at the Moroccan Mizrahi festival, Maimouna.
To confirm that Israel has learned no lessons about Iran’s nuclear program in the past thirty years, today’s Maariv brings things full circle from 1984 to 2013. Its latest headline:
Projections: Iran Can Reach Nuclear Capacity Within 36 Days
This would appear to be a complete distortion of the actual Obama administration claim that the six month agreement will delay Iran crossing the nuclear threshold overall by a month or possibly more.
This archive of old headlines reads like a reign of error (all are from Yediot Achronot):
Iran will be capable of producing a nuclear weapon in another seven years.
–June 26 1984
Nuclear Expert: Iran will have a nuclear weapon by the end of the decade or in seven to eight years if China, Pakistan and Argentina continue aiding it.
–November 15 1991
Within 10 years Syria will have a nuclear weapon.
June 15 1992
Iran will have an operational nuclear weapon in the next five to eight years
September 20, 1992
Iran will have a nuclear weapon by 2000
December 1 1992
Rabin: Iran has the manpower and will to get a nuclear weapon within ten years.
January 21 1993
Iran has in its possession a nuclear weapon ready for immediate deployment
January 24, 1993
By year’s end Iran will be a nuclear threat against Israel
April 9 1993
Iran may achieve nuclear capability at any moment
January 9 1995
Iran wants a nuclear weapon by 2001.
December 27 1995
U.S.: Iran will have a nuclear weapon around 2000.
June 27 1997
Iran will threaten Israel with a nuclear weapon within four years.
July 10 2001
Nuclear weapon for Iran in 2005.
August 5 2003
IDF: Preparing for an Iranian atomic bomb in 2005
August 8 2003
Iran announces: we will achieve a nuclear weapon within four years
August 20 2004
Israeli intelligence sources: within two years they will have a bomb on the shelf
July 8 2005
Entire Middle East will arm itself with nukes.
Iranian atomic bomb in three years.
March 26 2006
Olmert: Within months Iran will be able to assemble a nuclear bomb
June 22 2006
U.S.: Iran will have a nuclear weapon in a year or two.
June 22 2011
19 thoughts on “Israeli Media 30-Year ‘Reign of Error’ Predicting Iranian Nuke – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
Comments are published at the sole discretion of the owner.
I published a piece on the subject in which I listed most of the “dire” predictions since 1984, as well as before the Iranian Revolution of 1979:
How many nuclear scientists did the Mossad murder in the last 30 years? Who killed George Besse? Was an intelligence agency involved in the Alps killing of a British family in September 2012? The DGSE was responsible for bombing the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior in Auckland harbor, a participant to protest French nuclear tests in the Pacific.
○ Was a foreign intelligence agency involved in quadruple Alps murder?
@ Oui: The Business Insider story contains so many over the top claims about Mossad omnipotence that it can’t be taken seriously, not least because all those terror assassinations haven’t deterred Iran’s nuclear program. The only thing that can do that is a diplomatic negotiation.
What’s more scary is that Israeli religious superstitious paranoid delusions about becoming victims again is bringing them closer to starting an Israeli/Islamic nuclear holocaust even before Iran gets a chance to develop their own nuclear weapons.
Reminds me somehow of Jasper Carrot’s assertion that the Quakers were preparing for a nuclear holocaust by stockpiling “I Told You So” T-shirts.
RS: “The delusions which Israel’s media and leaders harbored in 1984 are the same they harbor today. No lessons learned.”
Unless they are in fact madmen, I suppose something that might be true. this assertion is missing the point.
These scares are aimed at unifying the Israeli-Jewish people in fear and determination to fight to the last drop of non-Jewish blood. And they have worked, as far as I can see. I don’t see the Israeli-Jewish people hooting N’yahu off the stage of history — I see them re-electing him.
The BIG LIE works. Give it credit. It is not a mistake, not foolishness, but deliberate big-lying.
The big lie? If this is the big lie, then who is the big liar? Bibi, Olmert, Barak, maybe Rabin or Peres? all? or maybe the US gov’t or the CIA? because more than half of those headlines are based on western analystics and intel’
@ Hasbarist settler: Saying an Israeli headline is “based on” a source is like saying that the species homo sapiens is “based on” amoebas. There is often almost no connection between what the source actually said or wrote and how the headline interprets that. Though there of course have been western media reports all along that were as wrong as Israeli news reports, I don’t think any country’s media was as willing to report these distortions and lies without caveat as Israel’s.
RE: “These scares are aimed at unifying the Israeli-Jewish people in fear and determination to fight to the last drop of non-Jewish blood.” ~ pabelmont
MY REPLY: I find Ira Chernus’ take* on this to make a great deal of sense. He is a Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder and blogs at MythicAmerica.
* SEE: “Israel’s Defense Chief OK’s Hundreds of Israeli Deaths”, By Ira Chernus, CommonDreams.org, 11/11/11
ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/11/11-2
[ed., offensive crap like this will NEVER be published at this site]
“It should be noted that the Jane’s Defense Weekly report on which this story is based actually said an Iranian bomb was “two years” away.” ” That didn’t stop Maariv from throwing the fear of Khomeini into Israelis.”
Can you imagine? A newspaper that sensationalizes!
I guess what people don’t factor in is that there has been a 30 plus year clandestine campaign against Iranian nuclear weapon acquisition. The public side of it,stunt next,targeted assassinations is a relatively new aspect of it in the last 5 years or so.
German companies did in fact help Iran. They acquired centrifuges from the same company Israel did, Urenco.in fact Israel had the same centrifuges so they knew the virus would damage the centrifuges. And we would have never ave known except for Obama haveing the information intentionaly leaked.
Yesterday the Iranian government announced that the information concerning this agreement as presented on the White House website is incorrect. And the Iranians have a different understanding than the White House as to the substance of the agreement.
Today a Iranian general publicaly announced that Iran has developed indeginus inter continental ballistic missile that is able to deliver a nuclear weapons payload. What a waste to develop such a weapon when the Iranians have publicaly stated that they are not even contemplating the production of a nuclear weapon.
Israel: Uranium Processing and Enrichment
As I understand the facts, France supplied the nuclear know-how for the Dimona plant and uranium enrichment facilities. The Urenco consortium delivers enriched uranium through gas centrifuges. The secrets were stolen by A. G. Khan in the early 1970’s, supported by the CIA (to thwart Soviet support for a nuclear India), and later proliferated to Iran, Libya and North Korea.
The Israel nuclear bomb was based on secrets stolen from the US and UK. Israel worked together with South Africa under the apartheid regime to develop and test both nuclear devices and CBW weapons.
Germany delivers the Dolphin class submarines to Israel which can deliver nuclear warheads by cruise missiles.
@ Ya choe: My comment rules insist that commmenters published verified, credible facts rather than unsupported opinion. As far as I’m concerned any of your claims about Iran are unsubstantiated rumor. If you intend to publish here in future, make sure that you offer links and quotations from your alleged sources. And make sure those sources are credible. I will not only not believe you (unless you do), I won’t allow you to publish the equivalent of rumors here. Take this warning very seriously.
Animal Farm Rule #17.
Only Richard can publish unsubstantiated rumors, like the rumors he gets from his ‘source’.
@ Pip: The difference between me and you is that you & folks like Ya Choe spout nonsense and then refuse to offer ANY source to support it. While I offer the views of my source whose credibility and accuracy have been proven time and again. That means his information isn’t “rumor” or “unsubstantiated.” On the contrary, it is fact and verifiable.
As for Animal Farm, you and your ilk appear increasingly like big, fat Napoleon the Pig with each passing day.
This may be a bit off topic, but assassinations of nuclear scientists may date to at least June 1980.
On 14 Jun 80 an Egyptian nuclear scientist, Yahia el Meshad (Yehia al-Meshad, Yahya el- Meshad, Yahya al-Meshad), employed by the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission, was found murdered in his Paris, France hotel room at the Meridien Hotel. The only known claimed witness to the crime, Marie Claude Magal (Magalle), whom was said to occupy a room next to Meshad’s, was killed in a hit and run “accident” on 12 Jul 80, either shortly before police sought to question her, or shortly after she had given a statement or statements to the police, depending on source.
Ref: Science, 29 Aug 80; Rand WD-809-SL, Nov 80 & WD-1508-SL, Jun 82; Weissman, Steve, Herbert Krosney. The Islamic Bomb, Times Books, NY, 81; Raviv, Dan, Yossi Melman. Every Spy a Prince, Houghton Miflin, Boston, 1990; Thomas, Gordon. Gideon’s Spies, St. Martin’s Press, 1999; Hamza, Khidir. Sadam’s Bombmaker, Scribner, NY, 2000.