I see that some media outlets are latching on to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s claim that Iran is a “nuclear state” as though this is a profound bit of reading the tea leaves.

A quick perusal of lexis-nexis suggests this is something like the eighth time in four years that Ahmadinejad (or an aide) has declared Iran to be a nuclear state, nuclear power or member of the nuclear club. I am sure you can find more, if you don’t have anything better better to do.

Here is my tentative list:

Iran is a nuclear power. (Ahmadinejad aide, September 2009)

As a result of the resistance of Iranian people, the country has reached a major goal which is to become a nuclear state. (April 2008)

Iran is among the world’s nine nuclear states. (July 2007)

Iran is already a nuclear state and possesses the necessary technology for producing its own nuclear fuel. (June 2007)

The Iranian people have reached the stage of nuclear industrial production and Iran has thus joined the club of great nuclear states. (April 2007)

Becoming a nuclear state is a high aspiration and a holy goal for Iran. (January 2007)

The Islamic Republic of Iran is now a nuclear power. (December 2006)