Iran to obtain African uranium

Well this story sure brings back memories:

A leaked intelligence report suggests Iran will be awarded with exclusive access to Zimbabwe’s uranium in return for providing the country with fuel.

The report – compiled by the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog – said Iran’s Foreign and Co-operative Ministers had visited Zimbabwe to strike a deal, and sent engineers to assess uranium deposits. . . Uranium ore, or yellow cake, can be converted to a uranium gas which is then processed into nuclear fuel or enriched to make nuclear weapons.

This should be read keeping in mind that we have offered to give Iran nuclear fuel rods in exchange for giving up its enriched uranium. If they are going elsewhere for uranium, it’s because they have something other than nuclear power in mind.

But of course, no reasonable person contests any longer that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons. John Hinderaker juxtaposes this with another story, noting that a new National Intelligence Estimate has finally retracted the infamous 2007 NIE’s absurd conclusion that Iran had halted its nuclear-weapons efforts. It’s not clear what took them so long; the revelation in 2009 of Iran’s secret nuclear installation at Qom, which is too small for civilian use, torpedoed the notion.

In fact, all public evidence is that there was no good intelligence to support the NIE’s conclusion even at the time. Obviously I’m not privy to any classified intelligence, but those who were have written that they were shocked at the time that the NIE was written so strongly. They believe that the NIE was written to be leaked. That would fit into a concerted effort by some at the CIA to undermine Bush administration policy, particularly in regard to Iran.

POSTSCRIPT: Returning to the African yellowcake, it’s hard not to compare with the Joe Wilson fiasco. In light of that, it’s worthwhile to remember that the British investigation ultimately concluded that British intelligence had credible information from multiple sources to support its conclusion that Saddam Hussein was seeking uranium from Niger. Furthermore, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence discovered that, despite what Joe Wilson told the press, his own findings actually buttressed the case that Hussein was seeking uranium in Africa.

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