Friday, October 01, 2004

CIA using IAEA to spy on Iran

Description of Selected News: "Sanctions on int’l companies followed IAEA leaks of Iran’s military secrets: diplomat


TEHRAN (MNA) –- An informed source at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna has said that the recent sanctions imposed on a number of international companies by the United States are due to leaks of sensitive information about Iran’s defense technology.

The Western diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Mehr News Agency that the information was obtained by IAEA inspectors and passed on to Western intelligence agencies including the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

He went on to say that, according to official U.S. sources, no documents or evidence were discovered showing that the companies, which also include a Spanish firm, ever participated in activities related to weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iran, adding that they have only been charged with establishing technological cooperation with various Iranian industries, probably in the field of dual-use technology.

In response to a question about the agency’s commitment to safeguard sensitive information obtained during inspections of Iranian sites and to refrain from transferring the information to third parties, the Western diplomat said that IAEA officials, and particularly IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, supported the measure, which is an overt violation of the IAEA charter, by doing nothing except announcing that the agency does not have the power to control its inspectors and that leaks of classified information are inevitable.

The U.S. accusations that the companies had worked with Iran’s missile industries have come as result of the comprehensive inspections of six of Iran’s military sites, which the country permitted as a confidence-building measure, he added.

The diplomat did not reject the possibility that there was a connection between the U.S. measures and the pressure put on some influential Board of Governors members, particularly China, Russia and Spain, in regard to the November meeting.

The United States recently imposed sanctions on seven Chinese companies, two Indian nationals, and a number of companies from Belarus, South Korea, and Ukraine.

Before these measures, a U.S. company, Ebara International Corp., which is a subsidiary of the Japanese company Ebara Corp. Japan, was charged with illegally selling advanced pumps to Iran. The company faced a fine of 6 million dollars. U.S. officials later announced that the pumps were apparently used in Iran’s gas industries rather than in a WMD program.

Iran permitted the IAEA to inspect seven of its military sites over the past eight months over and above its legal commitments and as a voluntary and confidence-building measure.

Israeli Foreign Minister Sylvan Shalom had also told reporters at UN headquarters in New York that the Zionist regime is constantly exchanging information with Western intelligence agencies about Iran’s classified military information.

Unfortunately, despite IAEA inspectors’ frequent leaks of sensitive information about the Islamic Republic, Iran has not yet issued a formal statement to protest the IAEA actions."

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