view counter

IranIsrael accused of stealing, revealing IAEA Iran-related documents

Published 11 December 2012

Sources within the IAEA complained that Israel, in its zeal to expose Iran’s nuclear-weapons related activities — and, by implication, its attempt to paint the IAEA as slow and indecisive in its scrutiny of Iran’s nuclear activities – has stolen IAEA secret documents about Iran’s nuclear program and, after editing, gave them to the Associated Press

Israel’s covert campaign against Iran’s nuclear program has been going on for two decades now, but it now appears that Israel’s secret service, Mossad, has been targeting the UN nuclear watchdog, the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for some cloak-and-dagger action as well.

Sources within the IAEA complained to the Guardian that Israel, in its zeal to expose Iran’s nuclear-weapons related activities — and, by implication, its attempt to paint the IAEA as slow and indecisive in its scrutiny of Iran’s nuclear activities – has stolen IAEA secret documents about Iran’s nuclear program and, after editing, gave them to the Associated Press.

IAEA noted that the editing effort was not very good, and one of the graphs handed to AP contained elementary error. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, noting the error, said that “This diagram does nothing more than indicate either slipshod analysis or an amateurish hoax.”

Experts who have seen the documents said the graph in question was based on a spreadsheet of data in the IAEA’s possession which appears to analyze the energy released by a nuclear blast. The mistake was made when that data was transposed onto a graph, on which the wrong units were used on one of the axes.

IAEA said that the document stolen, and then edited and released, appeared to be an attempt by Israel to justify its assassination campaign against Iranian nuclear scientists – especially Majid Shahriar and Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani who were attacked in Tehran in November 2010 (Shahriar was killed, Abbasi-Davani wounded).

The Guardian quotes analysts to say that the recent leaks may undermine the IAEA effort to monitor Iran’s nuclear activities because they have shown the IAEA’s hand, revealing what the agency knows and does not know. This will make it more difficult for the agency’s inspectors in their so-far-fruitless talks with Iranian officials about the country’s past nuclear activities.

David Albright, a nuclear expert at the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) in Washington, D.C. said he had no knowledge of who was behind the leak but added: “Whoever did this has undermined the IAEA’s credibility and made it harder for it to do its work.”