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Flawed graph weakens case against Iran nuclear program (+video)

The Associated Press admits that a graph purporting to show that Iran has run computer simulations for a nuclear weapon is scientifically flawed. This raises serious questions about the quality of other 'evidence' against Iran's nuclear program. Here's a way to proceed.

COMMENTARY: Harvard Kennedy School professor and former diplomat Nicholas Burns discusses US foreign policy in the Middle East as part of the American Conversation Essentials series.
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Last week, the Associated Press released an image that purported to show that "Iranian scientists have run computer simulations for a nuclear weapon that would produce more than triple the explosive force of the World War II bomb that destroyed Hiroshima." The diagram presented was "leaked by officials from a country critical of Iran's atomic program to bolster their arguments that Iran's nuclear program must be halted."

Presumably these officials were hoping to keep the fear over Iran’s nuclear program alive – but they have achieved just the opposite. A few days after the original story burst forth, the AP admitted making a mistake, saying that diplomats working with the UN nuclear agency conceded that the “leaked diagram suggesting that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon is scientifically flawed.”

The real concern this raises is over the quality and authenticity of other secret evidence Iran is being asked to answer to: Is it just as hollow? Could it have been faked by the “country critical of Iran's atomic program?” Let's recall that much of the case for the Iraq war was also based on false documents and breathless alarmism over technical-sounding things – yellowcake, aluminum tubes, etc. – which much of the media uncritically repeated. 

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