Amid a lengthy back and forth over the proper way to handle a potential nuclear threat from Iran, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) drew the ire of official foreign policy strawman Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) by stating categorically that a recent International Atomic Energy Agency report had said Iran would have a nuclear bomb within months.
Ignoring the threat from the Iranian president, Bachmann said, "would be the greatest underreaction in world history ... We have an IAEA report that recently came out that says literally, Iran is within just months of being able to obtain that weapon."
"That is not true," Paul responded. "There is no U.N. report that said that ... They produced information that led you to believe that, but they have no evidence that there has been enrichment."
The IAEA report in question, which came out in early November, did claim that Iran could build a nuclear weapon within six months, but it notably did not include any "smoking gun" -- as one diplomat told the Los Angeles Times -- that Iran actually had any intention of doing so.
That may be an important distinction, since Bachmann wasn't merely attempting to claim that the weapon was a theoretical possibility, but that it was a very real danger.
"We have an avowed madman who uses that nuclear weapon to wipe nations off face of the earth," Bachmann said.
Earlier in the debate, Paul repeated his strenuous objections, made during earlier debates, that entering in to a new war with Iran would be a catastrophic decision, and one that cannot be taken lightly.
"This is another Iraq coming," he warned. "This is war propaganda going on. And to me, the greatest danger is that we will have a president that will overreact and we will soon bomb Iran."
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