We have a Hillary Clinton interview and a claim from Iran that the P5+1 have made a new offer on the enrichment front. And, um yeah, a "highly newsworthy" story that President Ahmadinejad has called for world nuclear disarmament while saying that Iran will never build nuclear weapons.
I see little indication that reporters are applying much mental effort to any of these stories. It probably would be worthwhile for them to indicate in the Clinton stories that Ahmadinejad again called for nuclear disarmament. But he has said such things before, so whether this latest repetition is "highly newsworthy" is open to question. And, sorry to say, for those of us who have been watching Iran for a while, it has the look of yet another shiny thing being dangled in front of those who still believe that Iran's nuclear program is completely innocuous.
Likewise, atomic energy organisation chief Ali Akbar Salehi's claim, with no details, that there is a new offer on the table has a shiny look to it. The news story adduces some Turkish actions to imply that perhaps Turkey will play a role, which has seemed a possibility in the past, but there's really not much to the story beyond that Iran has made another claim.
Clinton has been quoted in a number of ways, frequently indirectly. I'm looking forward to a transcript on the State Department website, which hasn't shown up yet. She seems to be focusing on the Revolutionary Guard, which is not a bad idea; split them from the rest of the government, make them look like they are subverting the revolution into a military dictatorship, which may in fact be happening. I've seen reports saying that she claimed that Iran is making nuclear weapons, but I have also seen quotes to the effect that "evidence is accumulating" that that is a possibility. The two are quite different.
I belong to an e-mail list that is convinced that the United States government is ready to bomb Iran now, or to let Israel do it. You may have seen some of this on other blogs. I find this unpersuasive. Around the turn of the year, the administration provided several press availabilities in which they emphasized the difficulty of getting a desired effect from bombing Iran. If I recall correctly, they even had some Israeli statements to that effect. Clearly there are people who want to bomb Iran, but they've been agitating for quite a long time now, and the Obama administration seems less inclined in this direction than the Bush administration was. And, in this latest interview, when asked if an attack was planned, Clinton said "no." That hasn't been widely reported either.
So, like the prospect of an Iranian nuke, the prospect of Iranian bombing seems some distance away. But if indeed Iran is in favor of universal nuclear disarmament, it is playing some dangerous games indeed, which tend to give those in favor of bombing much of what they want. For example, President Ahmadinejad's claims that they have already enriched some uranium to nearly 20%. This is improbable, unless they had begun to do it long before he said they did.
Update: Some good thinking here.