Report on Iran Shifts Foreign Policy

U.S. spy agencies say Iran gave up on nuclear weapons in 2003.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

BILL WOLFF (Announcer): From NPR News in New York, this is THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT.

(Soundbite of music)

LUKE BURBANK, host:

This is THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR News. Today, we bring you news, information, and saving the Earth's atmosphere one dust particle at a time -maybe.

I'm Luke Burbank.

ALISON STEWART, host:

And I'm Alison Stewart. It is Wednesday, December 5th, 2007.

I enjoyed the NPR debate, and I'm not just saying that because my checks say that.

BURBANK: Yeah, yesterday, NPR, coming up in the world, had a big radio debate in Iowa with all the Democratic candidates. And, Ali, you faithfully and dutifully hunkered down with that radio or iPod (unintelligible).

STEWART: I did. I listened to it on my computer.

BURBANK: Okay.

STEWART: I listened on my computer. And it was sort of funny, but I couldn't help myself. I don't know if this is because I spent a lot of time in television - I had to see what the candidates looked like. I had to go to the slide show. Dennis Kucinich - pretty much the only guy wearing headphones, which didn't surprise me that he is the guy that said, like, yeah, I'm going to put these own. But a lot of the candidates, no jackets this time around, kind of being cas, very low-key setting - very low-key setting. No audience, no cameras, just the Democratic candidates and three issues. We'll dive in.

BURBANK: They had to be very, very relieved to not be standing on that stage with a bunch of lights and people yelling at them. So it's the NPR way.

That dust thing I was talking about earlier, it's part of the series we've been doing this week called It's So Crazy, It Just Might Work. Today, we're going to talk to a scientist who says maybe we can create a sort of umbrella around the Earth's stratosphere that would bounce back some of the sunlight and keep things a little bit cooler here. We're going to find out how that would work.

STEWART: And we also have another installment of a series we're doing this week about how presidential candidates are perceived in their hometown or home state. What we did to Giuliani yesterday, we're doing it to Edwards today. We're talking to a reporter from NPR member station KUNC all about how North Carolinians perceive Mr. John Edwards.

BURBANK: And as we just mentioned, a recap of yesterday's big NPR debate. Ali dives into that one.

Also, Rachel Martin is back.

(Soundbite of applause)

BURBANK: Wo-hoo!

STEWART: Golf claps.

BURBANK: This is a real clap. That's a real clap. She's going to give us all the…

STEWART: Yeah, baby. Good to go.

BURBANK: …all the headlines.

First, though, let's do the BPP's Big Story.

(Soundbite of music)

President GEORGE W. BUSH: Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous, and Iran will be dangerous if they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.

STEWART: That's the president of the United States reacting yesterday to a National Intelligence Estimate report that says Iran scrapped its nuclear weapons plans back in 2003.

BURBANK: Today's editorials are weighing in on the president's comments, and the apparent contradictions between his view of Iran: bad. And the findings of 16 U.S. Intelligence agencies: mm, not as bad.

STEWART: Michael Ledeen of the National Review Online agrees with Mr. Bush's skeptical eye toward Iran, writing, quote, "We've been fooled about the nuclear programs of countries from the Soviet Union to India and Pakistan. Maybe we've been fooled again."

BURBANK: But the Salt Lake City Tribune - what up, Salt Lake - warns the American people to be, quote, "Skeptical of Bush." Their editorial says, we find it hard to understand why the president would threaten a nation for not stopping something it had already stopped.

STEWART: And referring to the president's statement that Iran will restart a nuclear program if they can do it cost effectively, the Tribune added, quote, "Well, duh," end quote, and that any nation in Iran's position would, quote, "Naturally find nuclear weapons attractive as a deterrent."

BURBANK: About that report itself, the Boston Herald writes that anyone who sees NIE's findings as a cause for celebration or to turn our backs on Iran is, quote, "Simply a fool."

Meantime, Wall Street Journal's been yelling bias, saying the report comes from a bunch of, quote, "hyper-partisan anti-Bush officials," and that this is another example of an intelligence failure that one - that, quote, "Badly underestimated Saddam's nuclear ambitions" - I said Saddam, like I'm President Bush myself. Also, they go on to say that then they overestimated them.

STEWART: Steven Lee Myers in the New York Times sums it up by writing, quote, "Rarely, if ever, has a single intelligence report so completely, so suddenly, and so surprisingly altered a foreign policy debate."

BURBANK: And that is why that was today's BPP Big Story.

Now here's Rachel Martin with even more news.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: