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Misinformation on Iran’s nukes

To the Editor:

In the item about Obama visiting Israel, there is the usual degree of misinformation regarding Iran’s nuclear program, e.g., your statement that "… Western intelligence agencies have accumulated much evidence that such a weapon is in the development stages."

I have read the last two IAEA reports on Iran and the leaks from the last National Intelligence Estimate report. Actual "evidence" of an Iranian nuclear weapons program is nonexistent in all of these reports. There are "suspicions" and "increasing suspicions," but zero evidence. In fact, the IAEA reports are very boring, noting in item after item that the number of grams of uranium in all categories of enrichment match expected values, and that not a single gram nuclear material has been diverted or is unaccounted for. After all, the Iranian program is under constant video surveillance and subject to surprise inspections by the IAEA.

Furthermore, the current and previous Mossad heads have stated openly and bluntly that Iran has not started a weapons program, a conclusion also reached in the last NIE. The Iranians themselves have made it clear (in language that I understand as an experimental high energy and nuclear physicist) that developing a nuke would be stupid. Iran has consistently called for a nuclear-free Middle East.

John Hauptman
Professor of physics
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa

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