How the Bush Administration Created the Iran "Nuclear Confession" Scam

Secretary of State John Kerry gave further legitimacy to a long-running official scam over the demand for a confession from Iran last week, even as he argued that getting details of Iran’s alleged past work on nuclear weapons wasn’t necessary for a nuclear agreement.Kerry said Tuesday that the Obama administration was “not fixated on Iran specifically accounting for what they did at one point in time or another.” That wasn’t necessary for a deal, Kerry explained, because, “We know what they did. … We have absolute knowledge with respect to the certain military activities they were engaged in.”

But a former US official told Truthout that Kerry was simply using highly exaggerated rhetoric to express the Obama administration’s position that Iran had a nuclear weapons program. Kerry appeared to be dropping the demand for an Iranian accounting of its alleged nuclear weapons work. Asked by PBS whether Iran would have to “disclose past military-related nuclear activities,” Kerry had said, ‘They have to do it. … If there’s going to be a deal, it will be done.”

The politicians and pundits supporting the Israeli line gleefully jumped on Kerry’s statement. News media coverage of Kerry’s statement, typified by an Associated Press story published in The New York Times, denied that “Western intelligence” knew the “extent of Iran’s activities or if Iran persisted in covert efforts.”

The episode revealed just how thoroughly the politics of Iran nuclear policy have been shaped by a deceptive tactic of demanding a detailed accounting by Iran of nuclear weapons work that Iran has always denied. That demand makes no sense except as a way to either justify punishing Iran or to sabotage any nuclear agreement. If Western intelligence actually had hard evidence of an Iranian nuclear program, it wouldn’t need a detailed confession from Iran.


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