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"Iran's ... desire to acquire nuclear weapons":
per comments here regarding David Rothkopf's big scifi piece - "Even If We Leave Now, We'll Be Back" about scenarios for some Gulf War Part XXVII - we need to revisit the casus belli for our more immediate Official Grievance against Iran.
The automatic assumption that Iran is necessarily working towards nuclear weapons is deeply mistaken, based on the most fragile of tenuously spun confabulation, particularly in the context of implicit assumptions that they have no legitemate interests in nuclear energy.
The IAEA has no evidence, only "transparency" issues. And our own intelligence? Reported Sey hardly a week ago:
The C.I.A. found no conclusive evidence, as yet, of a secret Iranian nuclear-weapons program running parallel to the civilian operations that Iran has declared to the International Atomic Energy Agency. (The C.I.A. declined to comment on this story.)
The C.I.A.ís analysis, which has been circulated to other agencies for comment, was based on technical intelligence collected by overhead satellites, and on other empirical evidence, such as measurements of the radioactivity of water samples and smoke plumes from factories and power plants. Additional data have been gathered, intelligence sources told me, by high-tech (and highly classified) radioactivity-detection devices that clandestine American and Israeli agents placed near suspected nuclear-weapons facilities inside Iran in the past year or so. No significant amounts of radioactivity were found.
But that seems kind of besides the point when the US is pushing "no-verification" versions of the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty and perusing a policy David Kimball of the Arms Control Association calls "trust but don't verify".
At first gloss it defeats the whole point of the kind of verifiable fissile materials cut-off that we want to force from Iran, but in fact that's exactly the point. If we don't have to verify, it's entirely a matter of whether or not we want to trust them. It's the zero percent version of the one percent doctrine, and once again it's the founding of a national bipartisan faith, like the "failure to find a Soviet non-acoustic anti-submarine system was evidence that there could well be one", the same people starting another conspiracy theory.
Why do we want to verify it with Iran and not, say, Brazil? We don't, obviously, want to verify anything at all. We don't even believe verification is possible, or the administration would accept its own super-secret verification efforts indicating that Iran hasn't got a super-secret weapons program. They'd wait until they had more than zero evidence before blowing international capital on the issue.
If they actually did accept verification - evidence versus no evidence - Washington couldn't just keeping arbitrarily picking out whoever they want to knock down for their own reasons, while hurling irrelevant, unverified FUD at the public. Nobody dares question the original assumption. The national press falls for it every time. You'd think after Iraq there'd be a little more skepticism on the pages of the Washington Post.
We're supposed to take the fatwa against Salman Rushdie seriously, but pretend the fatwas against nuclear weapons going back to Khomeini don't exist. We're supposed to believe President Khatami was powerless against his Mullah overlords, who are now powerless to oppose President Ahmadinejad's rush to wipe the Mullahs' nuclear-armed arms dealer Israel off the map. Now we're supposed to believe that Americana will always be at war with Eurasia, and so too Rothkopf joins the fantasies of grandeur.
update: via seth, for the argument why the FMCT remains relevant regarding just Iran, nevermind actual proliferation issues, see this.