The Rosett Report

Iran's Nuclear Chutzpah Goes Ballistic

Not content with declaring “victory” for its nuclear program — thanks to the latest U.S. National “Intelligence” Estimate — Iran’s government is now demanding that the U.S. explain the spying that went into producing the NIE.

This item caught my attention courtesy of an email captioned “THIS MUST BE SATIRE,” forwarding an AP story carried in the Jerusalem Post, which goes into some detail about Iranian officials noticing that the NIE’s own text attributed its findings to information gathered about Iran by U.S. agencies via “satellite and espionage activities.” So Ahmadinejad & Co. are delighted by the report, but outraged by the spying. Talk about wanting to have your yellowcake and eat it too — it sure sounds like satire.

But it isn’t. A check of Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency web site turns up a Dec. 9 article saying that Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki “has sent a letter to the Swiss embassy ‘in Tehran, as caretaker of U.S. interests, calling for explanations on the US espionage on Iran’s nuclear issue.’ ”

Sounds to me like Mottaki should be told to take a number and go to the back of the queue. So weird was this NIE that there are a lot of Americans who would also like an explanation of the espionage that went into it. Seems like we deserve first dibs.

Update: According to an article in the Telegraph, there are a number of British intelligence officials now wondering if U.S. spies were hoodwinked by Iranian disinformation. They, too — reasonably enough — would like an explanation of the U.S. spy tactics behind this latest NIE. (Maybe the British should complete the circuit, and demand an explanation not from Washington, but from Iran?).