Ritter said the public would likely become more outspoken on the Bush administration’s policies toward Iran if they understood how an attack on Iran could lead to an economic collapse here at home.
“You have to talk about what’s going to happen to the price of oil, the price of food. People have to focus on that. Iran does not pose a threat whatsoever to the average American. We’ve got this hyped up threat. We need people to understand that they are being sold a bill of goods. There is no threat. Our welfare is going out the door right now because of this policy. We have to find a way to get this to resonate.”
Intelligence vs. Smoking Guns
One of the first questions Ritter says he is asked when he explains why the administration is planning an air assault against Iran is “where’s the smoking gun.”
Ritter said the increased rhetoric toward Tehran by various White House officials is a key indicator in understanding the Bush administration’s intent.
“I don’t like the word intent usually because the Bush administration used that with Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction,” he said. “Intent void of a factual basis is speculation. But here we do have documentation. We have a national security strategy. We have repeated statements by the current players themselves that they seek regional transformation in the Middle East inclusive of regime change in Iran. This is the policy objective of the Bush administration.
In May, the media characterized a report by the IAEA into Iran’s uranium enrichment program as evidence that Tehran is actively pursuing a nuclear weapons program. The Bush administration held up that report as evidence that Iran is a grave threat to the United States and Israel.
But Ritter said the media misrepresented the report and likely did not thoroughly review its findings.
“We have a situation where the IAEA has published several technical reports all of which state there is no evidence Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program. None. Zero,” Ritter said.
Ritter explained how the IAEA report was drafted.
Ritter said that because the United States has such a dominating role in the United Nations Security Council and in the Board of Governors the IAEA couldn’t ignore the information it receives from the United States about Iran.
“The IAEA can’t go to Iran with information that isn’t serious. So they say it’s serious and it needs to be investigated. So they go to Iran and the Iranians say, correctly so, ‘this is bullshit.’ You’re basically serving as a front to the CIA. The CIA is asking intelligence based questions about issues that are not relevant to the safeguards agreement, which, by the way, is the legally binding mandate that gives the IAEA the authority to do its work in Iran. You have to read the small print.