Israel on Iran: So wrong for so long

Justin Elliot looks back at Israel’s repeated predictions that Iran would soon acquire nuclear weapons.

Officials at the U.S. Department of State, we learned from the secret cables released by WikiLeaks last week, have serious questions about the accuracy — and sincerity — of Israeli predictions about when Iran will obtain a nuclear weapon. As one State official wrote in response to an Israeli general’s November 2009 claim that Iran would have a bomb in one year: “It is unclear if the Israelis firmly believe this or are using worst-case estimates to raise greater urgency from the United States.”

So we thought this was as good a time as any to look at the remarkable history of incorrect Israeli predictions about Iran — especially given that the WikiLeaks trove is being used to argue that an attack on Iran is becoming more likely.

According to various Israeli government predictions over the years, Iran was going to have a bomb by the mid-90s — or 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, and finally 2010. More recent Israeli predictions have put that date at 2011 or 2014.

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2 thoughts on “Israel on Iran: So wrong for so long

  1. Norman

    So, let them have the bomb. Perhaps then some peace agreements will come of it. Let there be no mistake, Israel has brought this on its self, they play the bully in the sand box, refuse to grow up, look down their noses at the rest of the World, play the guilt card on everybody else, yet engage in the very same tactics they condemn others for. One might wonder why there are only 5+million Jews out of 13+million Worldwide living in Israel in the middle of 230 + million Arabs just in the Middle east? Why aren’t the other 8+million living there too?

  2. pabelmont

    Pakistan has bombs and Pakistan is a weaker state than Iran, but no-one is having hysterics about Pakistan, even though elements of Pakistan have close ties to the Taliban.

    The hysterics about Iran are purely a political show — USA and Israel need a fall-guy, and they pick Iran, but an Iranian BOMB would not make as much danger for Israel, for the USA, for the world as the existing Pakistani bombs.

    It’s all non-sense. Hysteria for the sake of the production of fear among the people — perhaps so they will forget their empty stomachs.

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