One letter can make all the difference.
In the wake of Israel’s revelation today of a cache of stolen Iranian nuclear plans that indicate that Iran hid its long-denied secret program to develop nuclear weapons from the world, the White House issued a statement regarding the news.
“The United States is aware of the information just released by Israel and continues to examine it carefully. This information provides new and compelling details about Iran’s efforts to develop missile-deliverable nuclear weapons,” the statement begins.
The first release of the next sentence of the statement is where that one letter comes into play. Originally, it said:
“These facts are consistent with what the United States has long known: Iran has a robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program that it has tried and failed to hide from the world and from its own people.
If such a claim were to be true, it would mean the immediate end to the deal that Iran negotiated with the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and the European Union to end its nuclear program in exchange for the easing of the punishing sanctions that had previously been imposed. It could even mean an imminent war with Iran.
Luckily, and sadly, in another sense, that sentence contained a major typographical error that forced the White House to recall the statement and issue a correction that read, more accurately:
“These facts are consistent with what the United States has long known: Iran had a robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program that it has tried and failed to hide from the world and from its own people.”
“The Iranian regime has shown it will use destructive weapons against its neighbors and others. Iran must never have nuclear weapons,” the statement concluded.
With the immediate threat of nuclear armageddon discounted, the U.S. can now examine the evidence and determine an appropriate response at a more rational pace than would have been possible otherwise.
Hopefully the White House staffer who drafted the original version of the statement has been sent to remedial English (or remedial typing) classes, and they’ve hired an additional proof reader to vet all future statements from now on.
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