On Wednesday, Bush conducted an interview with the U.S. government run Farsi-language Radio Farda to mark the Iranian New Year. In that interview, Bush asserted that Iran has openly "declared they want a nuclear weapon to destroy people." He also insisted that the Iranian government might be hiding a secret program (in spite of a total lack of evidence to support the allegation.)
There is just one problem - it's pure unadulterated bullshit. A veritable tour de farce.
Iran has never staked any such claim, or even stated on the record a desire for nuclear weapons as a deterrent. The Iranian government has been quite adamant and insisting that the uranium enrichment program that it currently operates in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions is for civilian power plants, not warheads.
Bush repeated his position that Iran has a right to civilian nuclear power, but insists that they should get the low-enrichment fuel from Russian rather than conduct their own refinement, but Tehran has repeatedly rejected that option. "The problem is the (Iranian) government cannot be trusted to enrich uranium because one, they've hidden programs in the past and they may be hiding one now. Who knows?" said Bush. "Secondly, they've declared they want to have a nuclear weapon to destroy people, some in the Middle East. And that is unacceptable to the United States and it's unacceptable to the world." (emphasis added.)
Meanwhile, back in the real world, Iran has denied repeatedly that the country seeks nuclear warheads, and in 2005, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a religious edict forbidding the "production, stockpiling and use of such weapons."
Shortly after the White House released the transcript of the interview on Thursday, White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe was on the hotseat and spinning so furiously that he threatened to generate his own gravitational field, dismissing the presidents remarks as "shorthand" for comments allegedly made by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the "World Without Zionism" conference in 2005, where he supposedly, by one translation of his remarks, stated his desire to see Israel "wiped off the map." People who actually speak Farsi have said unequivocally that the comments that this administration is determined to hang their "bomb Iran" policy from are vague and should not be interpreted as a threat to use force against Israel.