In Foggy Bottom, today, PJ Crowley scoffed at Iran’s latest offer…

U.S.: Iran offer for nuclear site visits is a ‘magical mystery tour’

Ahead of talks in Turkey, Iran has invited Russia, China and the EU, but not the U.S., to view its nuclear facilities.The State Department is belittling Iran’s offer to let some countries – but not the U.S. – visit its nuclear facilities, calling the offer a “magical mystery tour.”

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said on Tuesday that the offer is no substitute for Iran fully cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency to prove that its nuclear program is strictly for peaceful purposes and not to build a bomb.

Reporters asked Crowley how the U.S. felt about Iran’s decision not to include the U.S. in the countries invited to tour a nuclear enrichment plant at Natanz and other facilities. Crowley responded sarcastically, saying, “We’re just crushed.”

While the State Department spokesman did not urge others to decline the invitation, he did say that there is no reason for any country to attend.

I hope they do take up Iran’s offer…

Now, Nami Shirazi recently produced this awesome Link-a-Paloosa on the ever infernal ‘Phantom Menace’ of the Iranian Mullahs’ pursuit of Nukes… It’s extensive so I’ll only cite the ‘Bookends’…

Fittingly, let’s begin in 1984.

An April 24, 1984 article entitled “‘Ayatollah’ Bomb in Production for Iran in United Press International referenced a Jane’s Intelligence Defense Weekly report warning that Iran was moving “very quickly” towards a nuclear weapon and could have one as early as 1986.

Two months later, on June 27, 1984, in an article entitled “Senator says Iran, Iraq seek N-Bomb,” Minority Whip of the U.S. Senate Alan Cranston was quoted as claiming Iran was a mere seven years away from being able to build its own nuclear weapon. In April 1987, the Washington Post published an article with the title “Atomic Ayatollahs: Just What the Mideast Needs – an Iranian Bomb,” in which reporter David Segal wrote of the imminent threat of such a weapon. [...]

On June 11, 2010, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that “Most people believe that the Iranians could not really have any nuclear weapons for at least another year or two. I would say the intelligence estimates range from one to three years.” [...]

Two days ago, December 29, 2010, Reuters quoted Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon as claiming Iran would soon have a nuclear weapon. “I don’t know if it will happen in 2011 or in 2012, but we are talking in terms of the next three years,” he said, adding that in terms of Iran’s nuclear time-line, “we cannot talk about a ‘point of no return.’ Iran does not currently have the ability to make a nuclear bomb on its own.”

Even we admit that they’re not pursuing Nukes, from a recently leaked Cable…

POTUS EUROPEAN-BASED MISSILE DEFENSE DECISION

- The White House announced that the President has approved
Secretary Gates and the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s unanimous
recommendation for improved missile defenses in Europe
against the threat from Iran to our forces and families
deployed to the region and to our Allies.

- Iran already has hundreds of ballistic missiles that can
threaten its neighbors in the Middle East, Turkey, and the
Caucasus and it is actively developing and testing ballistic
missiles that can reach more and more of Europe.
– Our concern regarding Iranian missile capabilities is
further increased by the fact that our Intelligence Community
continues to assess that Iran, at a minimum, is keeping open
the option to develop nuclear weapons.

- The new “Phased, Adaptive Approach” recommended by
Secretary Gates updates and revises the previous program for
missile defense in Europe based on two key findings of the
DoD review:

– First, the threat from Iran’s regional ballistic missiles
has developed more rapidly than previously expected. At the
same time, the threat from potential Iranian intercontinental
ballistic missiles (ICBMs) has been slower to develop than we
previously expected.

– Second, our missile defense capabilities and technologies
have advanced significantly. Improved interceptor
capabilities, such as the currently deployed Standard
Missile-3 (SM-3) interceptor and advanced variants that are
already in development, permit a more flexible and capable
architecture.

Btw, Raytheon is greatly plea$ed with that decision…

Interestingly, it’s rather amusing to see that the British National Archives has released some of Iron Maggie’s musings on Israel

British feared Israel would nuke Arabs: archives

…The files also showed how prime minister Margaret Thatcher, elected to office the year before, found Middle East diplomacy exasperating.

She confided in then French president Valery Giscard d’Estaing that she “had never had a more difficult man to deal with” than Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. ['80 Carter-Begin-Sadat talks]

She had also tried to tell Begin that his policies towards Jewish settlement building on the West Bank were “unrealistic” and “absurd.”

“His response was that Judea and Samaria had been Jewish in biblical times and that they should therefore be so today,” she told Giscard d’Estaing.

“His response was that Judea and Samaria had been Jewish in biblical times…” That very same meme is repeated today by FM Lieberman and Bibi…! My how the more things change, the more they stay the same…!

So who would be more likely to go nuclear…? Ahmadinejad or Bibi…?

*gah*