Compare and contrast: Stephen Harper, WMD Supersleuth

Mr. Harper said he has no doubt that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. “There is absolutely no doubt they are lying,” Mr. Harper said, referring to statements by Iran that the nuclear program is for peaceful uses.

“The evidence is just growing overwhelming. This is not, as was the case of Iraq, merely the opinion of allies,” he said.

Stephen Harper, Globe and Mail, Jan 17, 2012

I noted that there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein operates programs to produce weapons of mass destruction. Experience confirms this. British, Canadian and American intelligence leaves no doubt on the matter. Saddam Hussein’s continued non-compliance and non-cooperation with the United Nations only confirms this information.

Stephen Harper, Parliament, 2003

Meanwhile, in the evidence-based universe:

“The IAEA does not assert that Iran has resumed a full scale nuclear weapons program nor does it have a program about how advanced the programs really are,” a senior administration official told reporters on a conference call. The official was speaking on background.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has released a report which it says has credible evidence that Iran has carried “out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device”, but has offered no estimate of how long it would take Iran to be able to produce a nuclear weapon.

Though many Iran critics have focused on the report’s claims that Iran continues to participate in activities that indicate interest in building a bomb, the administration chose to focus on the IAEA’s conclusions that a “structured program” to develop a nuclear warhead was halted in 2003.

Update: Other doubters include…Israeli Intelligence:

The Israeli view is that while Iran continues to improve its nuclear capabilities, it has not yet decided whether to translate these capabilities into a nuclear weapon – or, more specifically, a nuclear warhead mounted atop a missile. Nor is it clear when Iran might make such a decision.

-Haaretz, January 18, 2012