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"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.

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."

Timelines can be so helpful when we are looking at long-term, complicated issues.  This timeline is very helpful.

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

August 2013:  76 U.S. senators urge President Obama to impose tougher sanctions on Iran, even with "moderate" Rouhani in office.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Predicting disaster is a safe bet. (4+ / 0-)

    If the prediction is wrong, everybody's happy the disaster has been avoided; if the prediction proves correct, the predicter can say "I told you so."

    The Iranian religious authorities have consistently rejected the development of nuclear weapons.
    However, since the U.S. has a habit of attacking weak countries, much as the wolf takes the lamb, prudence suggests an aggressive stance is worth while.

    Iran has offered to participate in the Middle East Nuclear Weapons Free Zone, as has Egypt. The lone hold-out is Israel, which has always claimed to have none. Israel could join and validate its claim by simply getting rid of any evidence before an inspection regime goes into effect.

  •  timeline (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error

    So what's the timeline of people here predicting imminent war with Iran?  I've heard this " war drums" line for years now.  Someone's arms must be getting tired.

    Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

    by Sky Net on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 11:28:47 AM PDT

    •  I think only Syria is left in the Muslim (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BigAlinWashSt, War on Error

      world according to the Neo-Con/Pentagon plan going back to 1997. Oh wait. There's also Lebanon. The idea, the stated-in-plain-English goal being to turn the nations in that region into chaotic failed states.

      So, as soon as Syria and Lebanon are completely non-functional, we'll move on Iran. (not to discount the low-level terrorism and such we're financing there now.) Of course, as stated in plain English by our neo-cons and foreign policy people, destabilizing the Middle East and North Africa is merely on the way to China and Russia. Both of which we've been surrounding with bases in the meantime.

      So to answer your question: sooner than Iran will have a nuclear weapon; as soon as the appetizers are done.

      Fortunately, I think President Obama has been trying to put on the brakes on the war-making, though the military/political establishment is dead set on making war, and more war, and more war. And after that, more war.

      You know, there's really tons of documentation, and history, on the internet. Why, even at the library.

      Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

      by Jim P on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 11:52:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We can say that over and over again (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jim P, Johnny Q, Claudius Bombarnac

        but most people react by saying, "we need to stay out of their civil war" or "we need to take down that evil dictator".  Like it just goes right thru them.
        It is pretty simple and you said it, there is a ton of information on the internet.  I think a big part of the problem is that people continue to read or watch information that is controlled information.  Meet the Press, reading the National Interest, whatever, you're getting "their" information, not the kind you can search for and decide for yourself after putting it together.  Learning history, what happened and why relative to all this is vital in doing that.
        Right on Jim P.

        "America is the Terror State. The Global War OF Terror is a diabolical instrument of Worldwide conquest."

        by BigAlinWashSt on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 12:00:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Surrounding Military Bases (10+ / 0-)

        Wrote this back in December, 2011.

        The Iranian threat

        US Bases, Middle east

        Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was interviewed by John Podesta about U.S. global leadership. Topics included Libya, the Middle East, and Africa. She also talked about the need to build U.S. economy through innovation and education.  In her remarks she also spoke about the alleged Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabia ambassador to the U.S.

        Pie Chart

        iran military spending

        It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

        by War on Error on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 12:11:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, But Keep in Mind the Rethugs (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        more openly embrace war/war profiteering.

        Keep in mind the PRNC crowd wanted Clinton to attack Iraq, sent him a letter in 1998:

        Clinton told them to take a hike.

        Note it wasn't long after Smirky was elected in 2000 that we invaded and occupied Iraq.

        "The 1% don't want SOLUTIONS; they've worked very hard the last four decades to get conditions the way they are now".

        by Superpole on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 02:35:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Netanyahu. Is there any doubt about the reason (4+ / 0-)

    for the constant fear propaganda.  Israel.  If a full scale war is waged on Iran, it will be because of Israel.  Although I agree with sentiments expressed by many, the U.S. is at war with Iran now.  The sanctions and threats, which are illegal and the proxy wars guided by the U.S. and others in Libya and Syria are aimed at weakening Iran with the ultimate goal of taking it down.  When the time is right.

    "America is the Terror State. The Global War OF Terror is a diabolical instrument of Worldwide conquest."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 11:40:44 AM PDT

    •  Russia is the Actual Wild Card (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      here.. Putin is just ballsy/crazy enough to respond militarily if Israel is crazy enough to attempt "full scale war against Iran",

      it ain't going to happen.

      more like a surgical strike against specific targets in Iran, similar to what the IAF did regarding the Iraqi nuke reactor at Osirak.

      Problem is Iran observed the attack and all of their stuff is in hardened underground bunkers. Not easily, if at all, bombed from above.

      "The 1% don't want SOLUTIONS; they've worked very hard the last four decades to get conditions the way they are now".

      by Superpole on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 02:42:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  we wooed/couped Iran partially to counter Russia (0+ / 0-)

        We thought Mossadegh was some kind of crypto-commie, or at least spun his nationalization of the oil industry (and "independent" foreign policy) as a move in that direction.

        However, the British were messing around in Central Asia long before anyone cared or even knew about the oil, because they were convinced that Russia was going to try to conquer India from them.  That's the reason the British went into Afghanistan.

        War Nerd: changed the way I think. Free stuff here & here

        by Visceral on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 02:56:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not to mention the cyberwar... (4+ / 0-)

      ....and, although the U.S. has denied involvement, the assassination of nuclear scientists is not being undertaken by amateurs.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 02:46:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  and the kicker is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error, gffish, Visceral

    they have nuclear tech because we gave it to them when our guy, the shah, was in power!

    Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

    by Cedwyn on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 11:50:56 AM PDT

  •  2000: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error, gffish

    The CIA fed Iran flawed nuclear weapons plans in an attempt to slow them down, only the flaw is so obvious that the cut-out could see it in minutes, and the Iranians likely were able to use the rest of the plans to advance their technology.

    Mid- to late 2000s: The US government went after the whistleblower and reporter who let the American public know.

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 11:53:56 AM PDT

  •  at best Iran wants nuclear latency (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error

    That means having the infrastructure in place to be able to quickly assemble a nuclear weapon in response to current events.  Iran isn't stupid enough to start a nuclear war with Israel or the United States: yeah, one bomb versus 200 or 20,000.  They also know that we have no stomach for more war after Afghanistan and Iraq - and no fresh forces to wage one anyway - while Israel would find it very difficult to strike them directly without US assistance.

    But they take our rhetoric at face value just like we take their rhetoric at face value.  They saw what we did to Iraq and what we didn't do to North Korea.  They fear that Washington and Tel Aviv are full of religious fanatics (and plain old dick-swinging hotheads) just like we fear that Tehran is full of religious fanatics.

    Wanting a civilian nuclear infrastructure is a logical position to take when you're an oil producer living down the block from two huge and very thirsty countries: China and India.  Why sell your oil at hugely subsidized rates to your own people when you can sell it at top dollar to people who'll buy every barrel you can pump?

    I want to say that this issue boils down to trust.  Iran has given itself a reputation for being a bunch of anti-American and anti-semitic totalitarian medievalists with a severe martyr complex, and quite frankly the word of the heir to Khomeini - the original "Evil Muslim" - isn't worth anything in Washington or Tel Aviv.  But Iran doesn't trust us to not bomb everything they disclose to us, even if it is a purely civilian program, and I'm sure they think that we still won't trust them even afterwards: "All this disclosure is just to get us to lower our guard!"

    I think the best we can hope for is a Cold War style standoff where no-one wants to start anything but no-one's willing to lose face by backing down first.

    War Nerd: changed the way I think. Free stuff here & here

    by Visceral on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 02:48:30 PM PDT

    •  But the End of Timers do want to start something (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Visceral, JVolvo

      or so it seems.

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 03:08:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  of that I have absolutely no doubt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        War on Error

        But then we made it through 60 years of cold war - with the fundies screaming for us to nuke the commies for Jesus - not because we loved each other in the end, but because we just didn't want to die.

        Hopefully fear will keep us alive this time as well.

        The nukes have been the biggest game changer in military history.  Every other quantum leap in weapons tech has led to bigger and bloodier wars ... then nukes really do pretty much eliminate warfare except irregular bush wars between maybe-proxies in parts of the world the big boys didn't really care about.  Korea and Vietnam were the exceptions, not the rule, and they didn't get bigger because we all knew what would happen.  Hell, China didn't have nukes during Korea, but they still made it not worth our while to conquer the whole peninsula, never mind take on China itself like McArthur wanted to.

        War Nerd: changed the way I think. Free stuff here & here

        by Visceral on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 03:22:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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