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'America's Iranian Self-Deception'

11:22 AM, Feb 27, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Fred Kagan and Maseh Zarif, writing in today's Wall Street Journal

Americans are being played for fools by Iran—and fooling themselves. There is no case to be made that Iran is not pursuing a nuclear weapons capability. There is no evidence that Iran's decision-makers are willing to stop the nuclear program in exchange for lifting sanctions or anything else. The International Atomic Energy Agency reported on Friday that it has made no progress in its negotiations with Iran and that Iran continues to accelerate its enrichment operations, which are in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and agreements with the IAEA.

Yet the policy discussion in the U.S. is confused. Former Ambassador Dennis Ross writes that the Iranians are ready for talks. Anonymous administration officials refer to one of the most dangerous Iranian nuclear installations, Fordow, outside the city of Qom, as "a Potemkin facility." The media are full of comparisons to Iraq in 2003, when suspicions that Iraq was pursuing a covert nuclear program led to war.

People are conflating intelligence assessment with policy recommendation. The prospect of war with Iran is so distasteful that people are desperate to persuade themselves that the problem is not serious. 

Whole thing here.

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