Have you ever seen one of those ads that promises an astounding product at an unbelievable price, only to be followed up by an announcer listing exceptions, conditions and contradictions so fast it makes a auctioneer sound like Forrest Gump?
Void where prohibited.
Your mileage may vary.
No shirt, no shoes, no service.
You get the drift.
With all these qualifications and uncertainties, it almost makes one wonder why they ran the ad in the first place.
That same back tracking tendency isn’t just the territory of infomercial pitchmen these days.
It seems as if national intelligence agencies are now getting into the act.
German agency says Iran years away from atom bomb
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s BND foreign intelligence agency said on Wednesday that Iran was probably years away from being able to produce and test an atomic bomb.
Earlier, German weekly Stern reported that BND experts believed Iran had mastered the enrichment technology necessary to make a bomb and had enough centrifuges to make weaponized uranium.
The magazine quoted one unnamed expert at the agency as saying: “If they wanted to, they could detonate an atomic bomb in half a year’s time.”
Ahmadinejhad with a nuclear bomb by next January?
Batten down the hatches, sailors! We are in for a rough ride.
Or maybe not.
Once Stern magazine went with the story, the wheels of political expediency began turning rather quickly, resulting in this modified and qualified assessment published today.
A BND spokesman said the agency’s forecast was that it would take Iran several years to reach that point, although there was much uncertainty surrounding that view and that a shorter time period was also possible.
“The BND assumes that under ideal conditions, Iran would be capable of producing an atomic bomb in a laboratory setting in under five years,” the spokesman said.
He made clear, however, that it would take Iran far longer to get to the point where it was in a position to produce a deliverable atomic warhead.
Mark Fitzpatrick, senior non-proliferation fellow at London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies, said six months was an “absolutely a worst-case analysis.”
He said that while it might be plausible in theory that Iran could further enrich uranium in a large enough quantity for a bomb as well as restarting the weapon design work it halted in 2003, these actions would not go unnoticed.
He said there was also disagreement as to how advanced the weapons design work was.
“If Iran were to go for broke and produce a nuclear weapon in this manner, it would have to expel International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors and the world would know,” he said.
Until now there have been no indications of any such covert diversion, a point made by the IAEA’s incoming director-general shortly after his election earlier this month.
If you are keeping score at home, the German foreign intelligence agency let slip that Iran could have a nuke within six months.
Then it back tracked, saying that it would actually take a number of years for that to happen.
Unless of course it happens sooner than that, which in a “worst case” scenario could be six months.
But we don’t have to worry about that because UN Inspectors are on the case and we all know you just can’t fool them.
Unless of course you are North Korea, in which case the presence of inspectors didn’t slow down their march to having a working Hiroshima style bomb.
Or if you are India and Pakistan which surprised even our vaunted CIA in not only developing but successfully test firing nukes of their own.
The German BND gives the world this simple straight forward guarantee – Iran isn’t close to having a nuke, unless it is.
Your mileage may vary.
As the world observed in the run up to the Iraq war, intelligence agencies are not infallible.
But when you are dealing with a mad man with genocidal aspirations against the Jewish people on a Hitlerian level, the margin for error becomes razor thin.
And when you are a nation like Israel, literally born out of the ashes of the Holocaust, you take these kind of threats very seriously.
So seriously that baring serious political upheaval, we may well see a pre-emptive strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities within the year.
Because when a world leader with nuclear ambitions has openly made statements like:
– it would require a complete lack of intelligence to not take such threats seriously.
And as history has shown, when Israel takes a threat seriously, serious actions usually follow.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you.
Peace be within your walls,
Prosperity within your palaces.” (Psalm 122:5-7)
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