Little Green Footballs

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Manhattan Project That Never Was

Sad news for laughing boy and the ghouls at LGF who are just itching for another conflict. Iran (the next stop on the 'Wars That'll Never End' tour), who Charlie never fails to remind us is speeding ahead with their 'Manhattan Project' is not doing so. The biggest smoking gun in the investigation is now eliminated. US Government officials and international scientists agree that there is no proof of an Iran Arms Project.

Traces of bomb-grade uranium found two years ago in Iran came from contaminated Pakistani equipment and are not evidence of a clandestine nuclear weapons program, a group of U.S. government experts and other international scientists has determined.

"The biggest smoking gun that everyone was waving is now eliminated with these conclusions," said a senior official who discussed the still-confidential findings on the condition of anonymity.

Scientists from the United States, France, Japan, Britain and Russia met in secret during the past nine months to pore over data collected by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, according to U.S. and foreign officials. Recently, the group, whose existence had not been previously reported, definitively matched samples of the highly enriched uranium -- a key ingredient for a nuclear weapon -- with centrifuge equipment turned over by the government of Pakistan.

Iran has long contended that the uranium traces were the result of contaminated equipment bought years ago from Pakistan. But the Bush administration had pointed to the material as evidence that Iran was making bomb-grade ingredients.

The conclusions will be shared with IAEA board members in a report due out the first week in September, according to U.S. and European officials who agreed to discuss details of the investigation on the condition of anonymity. The report "will say the contamination issue is resolved," a Western diplomat said.

U.S. officials have privately acknowledged for months that they were losing confidence that the uranium traces would turn out to be evidence of a nuclear weapons program. A recent U.S. intelligence estimate found that Iran is further away from making bomb-grade uranium than was previously thought, according to U.S. officials.

Still, the LGF'ers shouldn't worry. If Bush decides to attack It wouldn't be the first time he's done it with no evidence of WMD's.

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