Some catch-up blogging:
Israel-Firsters Ross, Robb and Makovsky of the amusingly-named "Bipartisan Policy Center" warn of any "failure to stop Iran's nuclear-weapons program" -- the fact that there is no evidence of any such weapons program of course goes unstated. Previously the same folks had issued a report which essentially was a roadmap to a war, and with friends had declared that Obama had promised them a war on Iran by March 2013. Of course, other pro-Israeli agents had promised a war by 2011, so...
The rush to conduct damage control over the widely-discredited "AP graph" touted as proof of Iranian nuclear weapons work, is on display in articles which try to vindicate the document by claiming that the graph was "stolen" by the Israelis (rather than given to IAEA by the Israelis -- just as they did with the discredited "neutron initiator" document) and was then mistakenly edited by the Israelis (rather than the error being part of the the original) and finally, that the IAE Anevertheless has "reliable evidence" of an Iranian pre-2003 nuclear weapons program (when in fact the IAEA under Elbaradei denied that it has such reliable evidence.) But Yousaf Butt points out that if the AP graph is anything to go by, then there should be serious doubts about the quality of the evidence to back up IAEA allegations of Iranian nuclear experiments with a "Possible Military Dimension."
Gareth Porter's Kickstarter campaign to publish his book, entitled "Manufactured Crisis: A history of the Iranian nuclear scare" succeeded in raising the required $10,000 for publication, much to my joy.
The Leverett's book entitled "Going to Tehran" is expected to be available by Jan 8th, 2013. Read an excerpt on their website RaceforIran.com, the "Mad Mullah" myth being one of the many bits of nonsense they put to rest in the excerpt. I have already pre-ordered my copy of the book.
The IAEA and Iran may have finally reached an agreement to allow a THIRD visit by the IAEA to Parchin. As I mentioned before, Iran is under no obligation whatsoever to allow ANY visits by the IAEA to Parchin since this is a non-nuclear site and as such falls outside of the IAEA's authority. Iran's conditions for such a visit were that 1- Iran would be allowed to finally see the evidence that is supposed to refute, and 2- that this third visit would put an end to the endless cycle of speculation leading to demands for extra-legal access. One wonders why the IAEA dragged its feet so long to accept these quite reasonable conditions, but I suspect that the goal was to delay the third visit as long as possible, to allow the "Iran cleaning up evidence at Parchin" meme to gain a solid foothold so that once the IAEA inspectors report that they found nothing -- again -- at Parchin, David Albright can claim that the Iranians must have cleaned up the site. And in any case, I have no doubt that even if the Parchin issue is resolved, the US will "find" another "Laptop of Death" chock-full of "evidence" of an Iranian nuclear weapons program, that was mysteriously smuggled out of Iran by someone who got it from someone else who is conveniently too dead to verify any of it...just as before.
But as Peter Jenkins, for UK representative to the IAEA points out, even if Iran had conducted any experiments related to nuclear weapons, such experiments do not constitute a violation of the NPT as long as there was no nuclear material involved -- and the IAEA has repeatedly stated that it has no proof of any such diversion of nuclear material. I also recommend reading Jenkins' previous article on the much-hyped Nov 2011 IAEA report, in which he points out that the IAEA's inability to verify the "exclusively peaceful nature" of Iran's nuclear program is merely a legalistic technicality equally applicable to several other countries, and not evidence of Iranian wrong-doing.
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientist Round Table on the IAEA's (il)legal standards applied to Iran quitely dies off when Dan Joyner's opponents fail to counter his arguments that the IAEA does not have the legal authority to demand that Iran disprove allegations of a "Possible Military Dimension" to its nuclear program, and instead they resort to a confused and self-contradicting final contribution that can only be considered as chaff thrown out to confuse the issue.
All in all, and in broad overview, I have to say that we're finally witnessing the expression of many more dischordant voices that are challenging what used to be an impenetrable wall of conventional wisdom built in the media about Iran's nuclear program -- and after years of bashing my head against a wall on this blog, I take great satisfaction in that.
So Merry Christmas everyone, and to all a good night.