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According to a recent National Intelligence Estimate, Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003—but George Bush isn’t buying it. During today’s press conference with CSPAN, Bush struggled through a convoluted statement regarding Iran. Blanketed within defensive mumbles and rhetoric was the profound concern that “they could restart it.”

The NIE was called for by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who was reacting to the “scary noises” being made about a possible military strike in Iran. Many hoped the report would hush the Administration’s vague suggestions of the strike, which Bush had refused to rule out in October, after Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the possibility. Bush took the case a step further when he claimed that preventing Iran’s weapons program was essential to “avoiding World War III.”

C-SPAN press seemed skeptical of Bush’s aggressive attitude towards Iran. Many of the questions posed drew parallels to the phantom WMDs in Iraq, and at one point a reporter asked the President, “Are you concerned that the United States is losing credibility in the world and now may be seen as the boy who cried wolf?”

Granted, the report warned that Iran could enrich enough Uranium to build a nuclear weapon by 2010. But with a weapons program that has been dormant for four years, does Iran constitute a threat to world peace? Bush still thinks so. The President’s reaction to the NIE echoes a growing concern that the lame-duck President will launch a strike against Iraq before January 2009, leaving the next President with an even bigger mess to clean up.

Iran’s aggression is doubtlessly uncomfortable, and perhaps Bush is right in remaining vigilant and keeping the issue on the table. But the possibility of another strike is even less appealing, current facts considered. I think Wonkette says it best with their headline:

“Bush’s opinion on Iran hasn’t changed, and that’s why 65% of America thinks he’s an idiot.”