The Blog | Matthew Yglesias: Think Again: Iran is a Problem, Not an Emergency | The Huffington Post: “With the latest breakdown in negotiations between Iran and the European Union, the years-long steady drip of Persia-related punditry has become a flood over the past month. Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer fretted on January 17 that the Islamic Republic was ‘probably just months’ from constructing a bomb, and blamed European fecklessness.
Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol opined in his magazine’s January 23 issue that America should be ‘holding open the possibility of, and beginning to prepare for, various forms of military action’ because Iran’s ‘nuclear program could well be getting close to the point of no return.’ The headline of a Reuel Marc Gerecht article in that magazine’s January 30 issue wonders, ‘Coming Soon: Nuclear Theocrats?’
Based on such pronouncements, the reasonable reader, while perhaps disagreeing with the neoconservative pundits’ preferred ‘bombs away’ policy, would no doubt conclude that, at a minimum, the Iranian nuclear program is, if unchecked, less than a year away from producing a usable nuclear weapon.
The reality, as Dana Linzer reported in the news pages of the Post last August, is rather different. Rather than being months from a bomb, a National Intelligence Estimate reflecting the consensus view of America’s intelligence agencies concluded ‘that Iran is about a decade away from manufacturing the key ingredient for a nuclear weapon.’ This report revised earlier projections that, while more alarmist, still pegged the figure at five years, not months, and brings American estimates into line with analysis from British and Israeli intelligence. In addition, while manufacturing a sufficient quantity of highly enriched uranium (what”

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