That will never happen, of course, said the Tehran Resalat in an editorial. Still, the report is a triumph and a vindication. “At the moment, the Westerners have no more cards to play against Iran. The White House and its allies have no other option except to accept a nuclear Iran.”
Don’t get too excited just yet, said the Tehran Etemad-e Melli. The U.S intelligence report was not a complete exoneration. It contains several key errors, such as the assertion that, before 2003, Iran was breaking its international commitments and pursuing nuclear weapons. President Bush has seized upon that aspect of the report to continue his belligerent rhetoric against Iran. Power in the U.S. has several centers, including the White House, the State Department, and the National Security Council. But ultimately, “the American president holds the reins,” and Bush still sees Iran as his enemy.
And he’s being very clever, said Parviz Esma’ili in the Tehran Emruz. Bush is “pretending to be rational,” a move guaranteed to confuse his allies and enemies alike. Right now, America does not have the military capability to confront Iran. Using the new National Intelligence Estimate as a cover, Bush is “portraying the rejection of the military option as a voluntary choice,” a concession he is making. That way, he can hope to gain some concessions from our allies, Russia and China.
We, too, can gain concessions, said Ahmad Shirzad in the Tehran E’temad. The U.S. report has weakened extremists on both sides—in the U.S. as well as here in Iran. In the U.S., the warmongering camp in the White House has lost its rationale for an attack on Iran: If Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons, there’s no reason to bomb Tehran. In Iran, the hardliners who want to pull out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty have lost their rationale: If the U.S. is no longer accusing us of violations, there’s no need to abandon the treaty. “Let’s seize the new opportunity” for moderates and begin a dialogue with the Americans. Such a gesture could only “improve the image of Iran in the international arena.”
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