Back in March, we had mixed messages coming from DoD about the state of Iran’s nuclear program, with CJCS Mullen saying that Iran is close, and SecDef Gates correcting him and saying that they are not close. The mixed messages continue today, with Mullen still maintaining that the Iranians are close, more precisely, within 1 to 3 years of having a weapon. Of course, this announcement by Mullen came just a day before the second test of a nuclear device by North Korea. I’ll be interested to see if Gates corrects Mullen again this time.
May 24, 2009
Iran might be within one to three years of developing a nuclear weapon, Reuters reported May 24, citing U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen. MullenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s assessment, made on the ABC program ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThis Week,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â seemed to go further than official U.S. government statements. When asked whether it was possible to destroy IranÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s nuclear program militarily at an acceptable cost, Mullen said he would not speculate on what could and could not be done. He said his ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œvery strong preferenceÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â would be to not be put in a position where Iran was attacked.