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Fox News Spreading Panic on Iran Nuke Plans

Reported by Judy - April 13, 2006

Fox News ratcheted up its support on Thursday (April 13, 2006) for Bush administration plans to bomb Iran by insisting that Iran may have a nuclear bomb any day, downplaying analysts' assessments that the country is years away from having the expertise and equipment to actually make a weapon.

"Fox and Friends" cited a claim by a U.S. Department of State spokesman in Moscow that Iran could produce a bomb in 16 days. "Fox and Friends" co-host Steve Doocy brushed aside comments in Thursday's New York Times article which cited experts who said that bomb production is far from imminent. Doocy even ignored U.S. government estimates that Iran is 5 to 10 years away from having a bomb, choosing instead to hype the "16-day" assessment [which he first referred to as 16 weeks before correcting himself] from a person whom he did not even name.

Here's what the New York Times reported about Iran's claims regarding uranium enrichment:

"'They're hyping it,' said David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, a private group that monitors the Iranian nuclear program. Anthony H. Cordesman and Khalid R. al-Rodhan of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington called the new Iranian claims 'little more than vacuous political posturing' meant to promote Iranian nationalism and a global sense of atomic inevitability.

"The nuclear experts said Iran's claim yesterday that it would mass-produce 54,000 centrifuges echoed boasts that it made years ago. Even so, they noted, the Islamic state still lacked the parts and materials to make droves of the highly complex machines, which can spin uranium into fuel rich enough for use in nuclear reactors or atom bombs.

"It took Tehran 21 years of planning and 7 years of sporadic experiments, mostly in secret, to reach its current ability to link 164 spinning centrifuges in what nuclear experts call a cascade. Now, the analysts said, Tehran has to achieve not only consistent results around the clock for many months and years but even higher degrees of precision and mass production. It is as if Iran, having mastered a difficult musical instrument, now faces the challenge of making thousands of them and creating a very large orchestra that always plays in tune and in unison."

Doocy's co-host Brian Kilmeade added fuel to the fire, referring to Bush adviser Karl Rove's claim that the Iranian leader is irrational. Gee, an irrational leader who could have a bomb anyday. That's not pushing the panic button at all is it?

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