Six nations may reveal data concealed by ELBaradei on Iran’s nuclear progress
US, Israel and four other governments are urgently discussing the release of intelligence that Iran is running covert military nuclear projects parallel to its civilian program after Mohammed ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, withheld this data from his last report, debkafile‘s military and intelligence sources disclose.
The four governments are Britain, France, Netherlands and Japan. All six had provided ElBaradei with new and detailed information on the advances made by Iran in its race to develop a nuclear bomb for inclusion in his last report on Aug. 28 before he retires next month. But ElBaradei, true to his usual custom of blurring Iran’s breaches, omitted the new evidence.
In Paragraphs 18 to 20 of his report, he admits to possessing substantial intelligence but regrets he is unable to use it to confront Iran without betraying his sources and so Iran was not able to fully answer IAEA queries.
US and Israeli sources denounce this evasion as a diplomatic scandal verging on fraud.
The material passed to him left no doubt that Iran was engaged in developing a nuclear weapon and revealed for the first time that it reached the final stages, weapon design, of the process. But ElBaradei decided to keep it hidden on the pretext of not exposing sources.
One official told debkafile that passing the new information to the IAEA director had compromised its sources anyway so there was no point in holding it back any longer.
The seven governments concerned will decide very soon which parts of this unpublished information to air. According to our sources, it will not be attributed directly to any government but to “Iranian exiles” who will present it as coming from inside Iran.
This tactic was employed in 2004, when the opposition Mojaheddin al-Khalq leaders first broke the news of Iran’s uranium enrichment plant in Natanz at press conferences in Washington and Paris.
The Israeli foreign ministry denounced the ElBaradei report, released ahead of the nuclear watchdog’s regular annual meeting in Vienna on Sept. 7, for omitting “to detail Iran’s efforts to obtain nuclear arms or its continued attempts to deceive and conceal those efforts. Neither did it mention Tehran’s refusal to cooperate with the IAEA and the international community.”
Next month, when the UN General Assembly opens, a special high-level meeting of the UN Security Council will discuss nuclear proliferation.