The LA Times reports that Ray Takeyh takes note of the fact that the Iranian uranium enrichment program, which it continues, is a vital part of the process of making nuclear weapons.
[A]lthough his own politics are left of the president's, Takeyh agrees with Bush that Iran's nuclear program is a continuing threat.Similarly, Sharon Squissoni of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace notes that, although Iran did suspend its development of nuclear arms in 2003 and subsequently allowed weapons inspectors access to some of its facilitiess, it reversed both actions in 2006. She, too, agrees with President Bush that the Iranian program still poses a danger.
"The position I take is that President Bush is right on this," said Takeyh, now at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Takeyh, who has long argued for engaging Iran in diplomacy, said the intelligence report was too easy on Tehran by not objecting to the uranium enrichment program, which many Western governments have alleged is meant to build the knowledge base to eventually develop nuclear weapons. The American intelligence agencies, in effect, accepted Iran's contention that the enrichment is for peaceful purposes, Takeyh said.
Gary Samore, a former Clinton administration official,agrees, too. He feels that the NIE and the way it is being portrayed in the MSM and by irresponsible critics of the administration has hurt our efforts to limit the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
All agree that Bush's efforts to secure agreement among major nations to apply economic and diplomatic pressures on Iran to force suspension of its enrichment program and acceptance of the international nuclear weapons regime have been seriously hurt.
Read the whole thing here.
UPDATE: the latest Rasmussen Poll [here] shows that more than 80% of the American public agrees with Bush on this matter.