“I’m announcing
officially that Iran has now joined the countries
that have nuclear technology. This is a very historic moment, and this is
because of the Iranian people and their belief. And this is the start of the
progress of this country.” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 11/4/06,
courtesy Washington Post

“We are saying again
that the nuclear technology is only for the purpose of peace and nothing
else”.

White House
spokesman Scott McClellan, travelling with President Bush to Missouri today, told reporters that the news suggests
Iran is “moving in the wrong
direction.” If it continues down that path, he said, the United
States will consult with other allies about how
to respond.

The price of oil
touched $US70 overnight, Wall Street slumped and risks to continued global
prosperity suddenly seemed greater, notwithstanding President Bush’s description
of reported US plans to nuke Iran as “wild
speculation”.

All this puts the
Cole Commission’s light grilling of Alexander Downer in perspective. Apparently it is very difficult to read all the intelligence,
even to read all the intelligence about a country we went to war with. One hopes
the grinning foreign minister has at least moved to employ someone bright enough
to join the dots and brave enough to get the minister’s
attention.

This is hope not
expectation. One is forced to wonder what gobbets of important intelligence are
still sitting unexamined in the DFAT post box.

Read more at Henry Thornton.

Peter Fray

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