Iranian nuke plans were forged.

Remember this story from a couple of weeks ago?

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has dismissed as a US forgery a document allegedly showing plans by Tehran to test a nuclear bomb trigger.

In a US TV interview Mr Ahmadinejad said the report in the Times newspaper was “fundamentally not true”.

He said criticism of Iran’s nuclear programme had become “a repetitive and tasteless joke”.

Iran denies claims it wants to build atomic weapons, saying its nuclear programme is for civilian purposes.

The BBC’s Jane O’Brien in Washington says the interview offered a rare opportunity to see an Iranian leader being questioned by the US media.

But Mr Ahmadinejad’s answers gave little indication that his administration is moving towards a more conciliatory position, says our correspondent.

The Times reported last week that it had obtained a document, dating from 2007, describing a four-year plan by Iran to test a nuclear trigger using uranium deuteride. The product can be used as a neutron initiator: the component of a nuclear bomb that triggers an explosion.

The memo apparently details how some work on the trigger should be outsourced to universities, but other work is too secret and must be carried out by “trustworthy personnel” within the organisation allegedly carrying out Iran’s secret nuclear weapons research.

Another document seen by the Times is said to be a memo from Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, naming him as the chairman of the Field for the Expansion of Deployment of Advance Technology (Fedat) – which the newspaper says is a cover for a secret nuclear weapons programme.

In his first public response to the report, Mr Ahmadinejad said the accusations were “fundamentally not true”.

In an interview filmed on Friday with ABC News, but broadcast on Monday, he dismissed the documents, saying: “They are all a fabricated bunch of papers continuously being forged and disseminated by the American government.”

When asked if there would “be no nuclear weapon in Iran, ever”, Mr Ahmadinejad said his view was already known.

“You should say something only once. We have said once that we don’t want a nuclear bomb. We don’t accept it.”

A senior adviser to US President Barack Obama, David Axelrod, said it was “nonsense” that the US had fabricated the documents. “Nobody has any illusions about what the intent of the Iranian government is,” he told ABC.

Iran is already subject to three sets of UN sanctions for its refusal to suspend its uranium enrichment programme. It is at risk of further sanctions after it rejected a deal to send low-enriched uranium abroad to be refined into fuel for a research reactor.

A defiant Mr Ahmadinejad said Iran would welcome talks “under fair conditions”.

“We don’t welcome confrontation, but we don’t surrender to bullying either,” he said. “If you are saying you are going to impose sanctions, then go and do it.”

Iran says its uranium enrichment programme is for purely peaceful purposes, aimed at generating electricity so that it can export more gas and oil.

But the US and its allies say it could be used to develop weapons.

Iran was accused of doing evil deeds. Iran denied it. The wise folks of the world said that Iran were lying, and that here was the smoking gun that would justify pre-emptive strikes against Iran. The Neocons rubbed their hands in glee. A new barrage of sanctions was drawn up against Iran.

Then the story went rather quiet. Until now, thanks to the IPS.

WASHINGTON, Dec 28 (IPS) – U.S. intelligence has concluded that the document published recently by the Times of London, which purportedly describes an Iranian plan to do experiments on what the newspaper described as a “neutron initiator” for an atomic weapon, is a fabrication, according to a former Central Intelligence Agency official.

Philip Giraldi, who was a CIA counterterrorism official from 1976 to 1992, told IPS that intelligence sources say that the United States had nothing to do with forging the document, and that Israel is the primary suspect. The sources do not rule out a British role in the fabrication, however.

The Times of London story published Dec. 14 did not identify the source of the document. But it quoted “an Asian intelligence source” – a term some news media have used for Israeli intelligence officials – as confirming that his government believes Iran was working on a neutron initiator as recently as 2007.

The story of the purported Iranian document prompted a new round of expressions of U.S. and European support for tougher sanctions against Iran and reminders of Israel’s threats to attack Iranian nuclear programme targets if diplomacy fails.

U.S. news media reporting has left the impression that U.S. intelligence analysts have not made up their mind about the document’s authenticity, although it has been widely reported that they have now had a full year to assess the issue.

Giraldi’s intelligence sources did not reveal all the reasons that led analysts to conclude that the purported Iran document had been fabricated by a foreign intelligence agency. But their suspicions of fraud were prompted in part by the source of the story, according to Giraldi.

“The Rupert Murdoch chain has been used extensively to publish false intelligence from the Israelis and occasionally from the British government,” Giraldi said.

The Times is part of a Murdoch publishing empire that includes the Sunday Times, Fox News and the New York Post. All Murdoch-owned news media report on Iran with an aggressively pro-Israeli slant.

I’m sure all the world leaders that were eager to publicly accuse Iran of lying will now apologise just as publicly, and condemn those involved in the conspiracy.

Ha. There’ll be no apologies, and nobody will be punished. It would be politically inconvenient. Most news outlets aren’t even covering the forgery story, leaving the idea in their viewer’s minds that Iran is a dangerous menace on the brink of annihilating all that is good, true, and freedomy. They’re too busy raving about the threats from exploding underwear that will DESTROY US ALL unless we do exactly what Dick Cheney says.

At least this time the lies were exposed BEFORE we started dropping bombs. But the military-industrial complex is persistent, as is the far-right of Israeli politics, and this will not be the last attempt to further destabilise the Middle-East.

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