"Breathless predictions that the Islamic Republic will soon be at the brink of nuclear capability, or – worse – acquire an actual nuclear bomb, are not new.
For more than quarter of a century Western officials have claimed repeatedly that Iran is close to joining the nuclear club.Timelines can be so helpful when we are looking at long-term, complicated issues. This timeline is very helpful.
Such a result is always declared "unacceptable" and a possible reason for military action, with "all options on the table" to prevent upsetting the Mideast strategic balance dominated by the US and Israel.
And yet, those predictions have time and again come and gone. This chronicle of past predictions lends historical perspective to today’s rhetoric about Iran."
This article makes it very clear that the war drums have been beating ever since Iran kicked out BP and formed its new theocratic government.
I'll boil it down for you:
US and others set up the nuclear programs in Iran.
Late 1970s: Rumors Shah of Iran developing nuclear weapon program
1979: US stops supplying Iran w/highly enriched uranium
1984: Senator Alan Cranston claims Iran is 7 years away from making a nuclear weapon
1992: Natanyahu says Iran is 3 to 5 years from making a nuclear weapon
1992: Shimon Peres tells French TV that Iran set to have nuclear warheads by 1999
1992: Joseph Alpher says Iran has to be identified as Enemy #1
1995: Iran 5 years away from having nuclear weapon
1997: Iran unlikely to acquire nuclear weapons for 8-10 years
1998: Rumsfeld reports Iran has intercontinental ballistic missile
2002: CIA danger of nuclear-tipped missile from Iran higher than during cold war.
2002: Iran insists its efforts are peaceful, but is found in breach of its IAEA safeguards agreement, and accused by the IAEA of a "pattern of concealment."
2004: Colin Powell tells reporters that Iran had been working on technology to fit a nuclear warhead onto a missile.
2005: US presents 1,000 pages of designs and other documentation allegedly retrieved from a computer laptop in Iran....are dismissed by Iran as forgeries by hostile intelligence services.
2006: Seymour Hersh quotes US sources saying that a strike on Iran is all but inevitable,
2007: President Bush warns that a nuclear-armed Iran could lead to "World War III."
2007: Reported an unclassified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran is released, which controversially judges with "high confidence" that Iran had given up its nuclear weapons effort in fall 2003.
June 2008: Then-US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton predicts that Israel will attack Iran before January 2009
May 200: US Senate Foreign Relations Committee reports states: "There is no sign that Iran's leaders have ordered up a bomb."
2010: Jeffrey Goldberg reports "a nuclear Iran poses the gravest threat since Hitler to the physical survival of the Jewish people." Mr. Goldberg predicts that Israel will launch a strike by July 2011.
2010: Stuxnet played havoc with Iran's nuclear program
January 2011: Iran would not be able to produce a nuclear weapon until 2015
January 2011: Federation of American Scientists "Tehran already has the technical capability to produce a "crude" nuclear device."
February 2011: James Clapper "“Iran is keeping the option open to develop nuclear weapons"
November 2011: The IAEA claims for the first time that Iran is has worked on weapons-related activities for years,
July 2013: Netanyahu on Face the Nation: Iran closer to nuclear weapons that can strike US
August 2013: Netanyahu: Iran Accelerating its Nuclear Quest
August 2013: U.S.: The Ball is in Iran's Court