Comment: "Today's rhetoric about Iran..."

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"Today's rhetoric about Iran..."

Though concerns have risen in the past about Iran becoming nuclear-capable, was the rhetoric coming from the leadership in those times as acidic and bellicose as that coming from Akhmadinejad these days? Also, how can we know whether the repetitiousness isn't in part because of covert operations/sabotage that have set Iran back on more than one occasion, and recovery therefrom giving rise to the concern all over again?