Wie gefährlich sind die Atombestrebungen Irans?

--- In die Debatte um mögliche atomare Bedrohung durch den Iran ist im Lauf der Woche Bewegung gekommen, weil die US-Geheimdienste plötzlich in einem überraschenden Meinungswechsel vorläufig Entwarnung gegeben und Bushs Alarmismus als ebensolchen hingestellt haben. Der Economist hat die Sache noch einmal aufgegriffen:
Just two years ago the consensus view of America's 16 intelligence agencies was tough and unambiguous: Iran was “determined to develop nuclear weapons despite its international obligations and international pressure.” The fact that Iran then, in 2006, overtly restarted nuclear enrichment—the process to make nuclear fuel which can also be used to make fissile material for bombs—in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions only increased the sense of alarm. Speculation has since grown that America might take matters into its own hands and bomb Iran. George Bush said in a recent speech that an Iranian bomb could contribute to “world war three”. Dick Cheney, the hawkish vice-president, gave warning of “serious consequences” if Iran did not suspend uranium enrichment. Yet on Monday December 3rd the intelligence agencies revamped their view of Iran's nuclear-weapons programme. In a new official estimate released that day, the National Intelligence Council states frankly that “We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its weapons programme.” A few sentences later it states with “moderate confidence” that “Tehran had not restarted its nuclear-weapons programme as of mid-2007.” ... It also concludes that Iran is susceptible to outside diplomatic pressure and scrutiny ...

No explanation has been given for the agencies’ about turn. But there is speculation aplenty. One analyst notes that the defection to the West of an Iranian general in 2007 may have produced better intelligence from inside Iran. The spies may also have concluded that earlier assessments were overly alarming, perhaps as a result of pressure from Mr Cheney, who may have sought an intelligence document to bolster any case for bombing Iran. ...

None of this, however, suggests that Iran’s nuclear programme is no longer a threat. America's national-security adviser, Stephen Hadley, argues that the new NIE only shows that “the international community has to turn up the pressure [on Iran]”. The NIE itself says that Iran “at a minimum is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons.” Even if Iran is not currently working on warheads or missiles to make a nuclear weapon (as it has been saying for years), it is publicly enriching uranium. Getting the right kind of fissile material is the hardest part of making a bomb.
Und sonst: Warum Larry Lessig nicht mehr über Copyright reden mag, sondern lieber Lobbying-Strukturen und Korruption in der Politik allgemein angehen will: Mr Lessig says legislators are clueless about “an issue that any rational policymaker has no problem understanding.” Swayed by campaign contributions from vested interests—such as film studios, music companies and book publishers—America's Congress has lengthened copyright terms 11 times in the past four decades, he observes. And Mr Lessig sees the same sorts of interference in other domains, such as the influence of sugar lobbies on government nutrition boards and that of pharmaceutical lobbies on doctors. “I felt I was spending too much time on the substance of copyright, as if that was the issue,” he says with palpable frustration. “I'm really getting tired of telling this story. It's not rocket science. But governments always get it wrong. What links these issues is that there is so much money involved in protecting them.” ... He is also arguing his case in speeches and on his blog, with the hopes of inspiring and encouraging others to participate in his campaign, in a manner akin to Wikipedia. If “you can architect the problem into bite-sized chunks” and then motivate volunteers, the results can be impressive, he says, noting that Wikipedia has grown to be one of the internet's ten most popular sites. “If we mobilise people to think of [corruption] as a trackable problem, we can use this technology to change Washington,” he declares.

Passend dazu: Siemens will sich von den jüngsten Korruptionsskandalen reinwaschen: The Germany-based engineering company Siemens is launching its most extensive ad campaign ever, as it grapples with "a massive corruption scandal." The "Siemens answers" campaign, developed by WPP's Ogilvy & Mather, will run in "major markets around the globe." Siemens is spending $148 million a year on the three-year campaign, which highlights health care, energy and industrial "technologies being developed by Siemens." In addition to print ads, the campaign will include billboards, television ads and "keyword-based marketing" online. The goal is to "help Siemens regain the public's trust," after allegations surfaced that company managers paid bribes to win infrastructure contracts in several countries. Siemens is also a frequent funder of video news releases.

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