Mark Shields Skeptical of Iran Threat, Defends Putting Nuclear Program Under Mountain

On Friday's Inside Washington on PBS, liberal columnist Mark Shields seemed to show mor skepticism than other panel members about whether Iran is really trying to build nuclear weapons, as he brought up the failure to find an advanced nuclear program in Iraq, asserting, "I've seen this movie before."

He later defended the rationale for Iran locating its nuclear program under a mountain as being a response to threats by other countries to bomb the program.

Shields began:

 

I've seen this movie before. I mean, we went through it, and we went to war in 2001 on this premise that somehow that there was going to be, the Secretary of State said, a "mushroom cloud" in the United States. I mean, it would be a more effective argument if we hadn't heard it...

After conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer asked, "Do you doubt Iran is working on a bomb?" he responded:

Do I doubt? I don't know what Iran is doing. I do not, I do not know.

After a bit of cross talk between him and Krauthammer, Shields continued:

I do not know what Iran is doing. I do know that there are six nations that have have an involvement here. I do know that they'd better open up to unfettered examination and inspection. And the failure to do so would certainly raise strong suspicion that they are doing something that they don't want known.

After Krauthammer later responded to Shields by bringing up some of the reasons to believe Iran is building a bomb, including the location of the program under a mountain, the the back and forth continued:

MARK SHIELDS: It is not irrational to put whatever you're doing under a mountain when you turn on the television, you pick up the paper, and other countries are either urging themselves or being urged to strike and bomb you. And that is not irrational.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: All you have to do is allow IAEA inspectors and noboby will bomb anybody.

SHIELDS: That is what I have said.