Scott Ritter on Iran's Nuclear "threat"

The fact that the IAEA safeguard inspections are at play in Iran may in itself come as a surprise to most observers of the ongoing Iranian nuclear saga. Iran is still very much a member, in good standing, of the non-proliferation treaty, and all of its nuclear activities continue to be under the stringent monitoring of the IAEA safeguard inspectors, an odd reality for a nation only 16 days away from being able to replicate the American attack on Hiroshima, if Stephen Rademaker is to be taken seriously. It takes an extraordinary stretch of the imagination to have Iran fabricating a nuclear weapon right under the nose of IAEA inspectors who today manage an inspection process that is not only technologically advanced, but seasoned after years of sleuthing after nuclear weapons programs in Iraq, North Korea, South Africa and Iran. To liken these professionals, as is the habit of many in the Bush administration today, to "keystone cops" is like comparing the US Marine Corps to the Boy Scouts. The IAEA inspectors are the best in the world at what they do. The fact that they have not found a "smoking gun" to back up what has been to date nothing more than irresponsible speculation concerning the existence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program should ease the fears of those politicians and pundits prone to panic. Unfortunately, this has not been the case, and as a result the world finds itself inching ever closer to a tragically unnecessary war between the United States and Iran.

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