Guardian in Denial About Iranian Nuclear Program

What to do about Iran's nuclear program is shaping up to be the global political conundrum of 2010. More than a year of attempts by U.S. President Obama to coax Iran into changing course on its ambitions has not yielded any concrete results. As each day passes the Islamic Republic inches ever closer to achieving a nuclear capability which no serious observer doubts is intended for military purposes.

However, this reality is not reflected in some sections of the world media. A recent UK study by Just Journalism of the Guardian's editorial position on the Iranian nuclear program reveals a very different picture -- one that continues to doubt that Iran intends to obtain the bomb, one that does not necessarily view a nuclear Iran as posing a threat, and one that blames the West for Iran's intransigence in negotiations.

The liberal daily clearly does not accept that the Iranian regime is committed to becoming a nuclear state in spite of the ample evidence to the contrary. A mere week after the discovery of the secret Qom facility which drew the strongest acknowledgment yet in the Guardian of Iran's nuclear intentions ("The likelihood that Iran's nuclear program is wholly civilian, as its leaders continue to claim, diminishes with each unpleasant surprise"), the newspaper reverted to equivocality with respect to Iran's motives, writing that: "While there is evidence that Iran is gaining the knowledge and the capacity to build a bomb, that is different from saying that the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has taken the decision to go ahead with a military program."

Though he might do so if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu goaded him into it. Indeed, the same editorial went so far as to claim that it would take an attack carried out by Israel to cement Iran's desire to acquire a nuclear weapon: "Bombing Iran's nuclear facilities -- the option that Israel has been lobbying and training its pilots for -- would, at the very best, only delay a nuclear bomb by a few years. It would turn the probability that Iran is making the bomb into a certainty." Such mental acrobatics is astounding: Iran gets caught having built a secret uranium enrichment facility in the side of a mountain but it is a future strike on that facility by Israel that the Guardian identifies as providing the necessary motive for  Iran to pursue a nuclear weapon at home. This is logic in reverse.