Mon, Feb 09, 2009 - Page 6 News List

Computer model says Iran won’t build nuclear bombs

AFP , LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA

A veteran consultant to US spy agencies predicted on Saturday that Iran wouldn’t build nuclear bombs and that the power of its Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would quickly fade.

The projections were based on a gaming and computer model built by political scientist Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, an advisor to the CIA and the US Department of Defense.

By the start of next year, Iran will stabilize its nuclear program at a point where it makes enough weapons-grade fuel to build national pride by showing it can, but not enough to actually produce a bomb, the model predicted.

Bueno de Mesquita’s computer model has reportedly been found by CIA officials to be right 90 percent of the time.

The influence of religious leaders is projected to slide while that of “moneyed interests” such as bankers and oil producers rises.

“Ahmadinejad is on the way down,” Bueno de Mesquita told a Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) Conference audience while describing how the outcomes of complex negotiations are predictable.

“His clout is dropping,” he said.

Bueno de Mesquita’s computer model factors in who has stakes in issues, what they say they want and how much they could sway outcomes.

“Everything is not predictable, but most complicated negotiations are,” Bueno de Mesquita said.

“It’s important not just because you want to hedge funds but because what you can predict you can engineer. You can change the world,” he said.

The annual TED conference that ended on Saturday in California is known as a place where technology titans, political leaders, celebrities and other accomplished people collaborate to battle global ills.

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