Entries by William Beeman

William Beeman

Nothing New in Report on Iran's Nukes

By William Beeman, Jun 2, 2010 9:04 AM

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I have now read the latest International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on Iran. It is clear that the IAEA is being pressured to toughen their stance.

William Beeman

Americans Charged as Spies

By William Beeman, Nov 10, 2009 9:27 AM

There is a danger in being too sanguine about the situation of the three hikers who transgressed the Iranian border and were today charged with spying in Iran, but this follows the same pattern that has been seen now six or seven times. Someone is involved with a minor infraction, or just heightened suspicion. The Iranian government charges them with spying to squeeze the greatest possible propaganda value from the situation. They are generally treated humanely and undergo a show trial, and are usually released, or allowed to depart after having posted bail as a sign of Iranian humanitarian generosity. If past experience is any predictor, this is how this situation will play out as well.

William Beeman

IAEA Found Nothing Serious at Iran Site

By William Beeman, Nov 9, 2009 9:53 AM

Editor's note: William Beeman is Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota.  His most recent book is The “Great Satan” vs. the “Mad Mullahs”: How the United States and Iran Demonize Each Other.

When a “secret nuclear site” in Qom (Qum), Iran was voluntarily disclosed to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) by Iran on September 21, 2009, President Obama claimed that the United States forced the disclosure. Indeed, the United States had known about the site for at least three years.

The Qom site was reportedly a second uranium enrichment site, matching the one already in operation at the town of Natanz. However, even at the time of disclosure it appeared to be less than had been reported by President Obama. It had 3000 antiquated centrifuges purchased from Pakistan that had not been even set up for use. It had no nuclear fissile material in it, In short, the site was was not operational in any way.