The going-to-war-against-Iran drums began beating louder in the last week with reports that a "former Russian nuclear scientist" was helping Tehran build nuclear weapons.

Here's a representative passage in the WSJ, saying "a former Russian nuclear scientist, Vyacheslav Danilenko, is the official cited in the report as making a string of visits to Tehran from 1996 through 2002 to help Iran develop a high-explosive initiation system, which can be used to trigger a nuclear device." (

And the Washington Post cited the "role played by a former Soviet weapons scientist who allegedly tutored Iranians over several years on building high-precision detonators of the kind used to trigger a nuclear chain reaction." ((

All of which prompted Mitt Romney, the man who may well be the next president, to threaten war against Iran -- he likes "a very real and very credible military option." (

But -- whoopsie! -- it turns out that there was no nuclear scientist. Vyacheslav Danilenko is an expert in manufacturing small diamonds for industrial purposes. Their bad. And who can be expected to investigate the truth of allegations nowadays? It's really too much work.

At least nobody bombed Iran based on what U.S. news organizations were uncritically reporting, though on the other hand the week's not over yet...
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