“You are pointing the gun at Iran and say either negotiate or we will shoot. But you should know that pressure and negotiations are not compatible and our nation will not be intimidated by these threats. Talk is meaningful if it is based on goodwill, equal standing and when both sides do not want to apply tricks. Talk as a tactic, a gesture of superpower, is only a deceptive move.” -Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

Iran’s Insistence That the U.S. Not “Point a Gun” at it is a Diplomatic Opening Not a Rejection…

Clearly such goodwill is in short supply between the United States and Iran…! I mean really, folks…? West to Tell Iran: Close Fordow, We’ll Ease the Sanctions…

Now, as FAIR’s Peter Hart asked today…

Are Iranian Magnets the New Aluminum Tubes?

…In the run up to the Iraq War, the New York Times (9/8/02) famously reported on an Iraqi scheme to procure special aluminum tubes that could only have one purpose: Iraq’s secret nuclear weapons program. Saddam Hussein was attempting to “buy thousands of specially designed aluminum tubes,” and the “diameter, thickness and other technical specifications of the aluminum tubes had persuaded American intelligence experts that they were meant for Iraq’s nuclear program.” The claims were false–Iraq, as it turned out, had no nuclear program–but still hugely influential.

Yesterday, on the front page of the Washington Post (2/14/13), reporter Joby Warrick has the scoop on what Iran is evidently up to:

Iran recently sought to acquire tens of thousands of highly specialized magnets used in centrifuge machines, according to experts and diplomats, a sign that the country may be planning a major expansion of its nuclear program that could shorten the path to an atomic weapons capability.

Purchase orders obtained by nuclear researchers show an attempt by Iranian agents to buy 100,000 of the ring-shaped magnets–which are banned from export to Iran under U.N. resolutions–from China about a year ago, those familiar with the effort said.

Warrick explains that this “has fueled Western concerns that Iran is planning a major expansion in its nuclear capacity that would allow it to make atomic weapons quickly if it chooses to do so.” That point was underscored by an anonymous source–identified as “a European diplomat with access to sensitive intelligence on Iran’s nuclear facilities, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.”

Now to be fair, Nima Shirazi, has been leading the charge for years…Iraq, Iran, Redlines and Headlines…

But, I digress… Peter Hart goes on to cite one of my all-time fave bloggers, b at MOA, where he’s screaming… Iran Buys Magnets That DO NOT FIT Its Centrifuges… Fancy that, eh…?

Honestly folks, wtf…?

Hyping Iran Nukes, Again

The neocon-flagship Washington Post and its investigative reporter Joby Warrick are at it again, hyping an account about Iran’s nuclear program pushed by discredited nuclear expert David Albright, who famously gave cover for George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq a decade ago.

The latest Albright/Warrick alarm, which leads Thursday’s Washington Post, cites Iran’s alleged effort to place an Internet order for 100,000 ring-shaped magnets that would work in some of the country’s older centrifuges.

You have to read to the end of the long story to hear a less strident voice, saying that Iran had previously informed inspectors for the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency that it planned to build more of its old and clunkier centrifuges, which use this sort of magnet, and that the enrichment was for civilian energy, not a nuclear bomb…

And the WaPo even doubled down today, with their warmongering, in an ‘interview’ with the UN’s Ban Ki Moon… Iran could use U.N. talks as cover to build bomb, Ban Ki-moon says… Which is being echoed across the Pond…

Iran is taking same path to nuclear weapons as North Korea, says Ban Ki-Moon

Iran is using the same methods as North Korea to develop its nuclear capabilities, requiring “firm, decisive and effective” action by the Security Council, the United Nations secretary general has warned…

Huh…?

Now, as Rachel Maddow is set to unveil her new blockbuster expose on the Iraqi fiasco, ask yourself if we’ve learned anything…?

*gah*