The Decider.

In an interview, Bush initially appeared to rule out any contact with Iran, a member of his “axis of evil.”

“What I’m not willing to do is sit down bilaterally with the Iranians,” he told PBS’ “The Charlie Rose Show.”

Later, he said Rice and Iran’s foreign minister might have bilateral conversations at the conference. “They could. They could,” Bush said.

I figure he probably meant he’s okay with bilateral talks about Iraq but not about the nuclear program. They already tried the bilateral approach last month in Baghdad, you might recall. It … didn’t go so well.

The Telegraph updated the countdown to Iranian nukes this morning. Four years, maybe longer:

Iran’s underground facility in Natanz has space for 3,000 centrifuges, the devices used to enrich uranium. Iran has told the International Atomic Energy Agency that only 1,312 have been installed so far.

Once all 3,000 are in place, the machines must be fitted together to form 18 cascades. Then technicians must introduce uranium in the form of gas into the centrifuges. The machines must then spin at 1,500 revolutions per second to separate out the uranium-235, the fissile material capable of producing the chain reaction unleashed by a nuclear bomb. Weapons grade uranium must be enriched to 90 per cent purity.

But the smallest particle of dust – even a fingerprint – can disrupt enrichment. Iran will have to spin all the centrifuges inside a vacuum without any interruption for a period of about one year.

Overstating the threat from Iran is one of the crimes with which Cheney is charged under the articles of impeachment introduced today by Congressman Truther. Just for context, no less a progressive hearthrob than Silky Pony insisted recently that Bush hasn’t done enough to deal with the Iranian threat.

Ahmadinejad thinks he’s got the perfect solution. What could go wrong?

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