“IAEA infighting continues over disputed Iran evidence”

“IAEA infighting continues over disputed Iran evidence”
September 29-October 2, 2009
     Jeffrey Lewis describes a Nucleonics Week report by Mark Hibbs detailing infighting at the IAEA over disputed evidence of Iranian nuclear weapons activities. The Department of External Relations and Policy Coordination (EXPO), the IAEA’s diplomatic branch, raised concerns that evidence compiled by the Department of Safeguards may be faked, preventing the evidence from being presented to the Board of Governors in September. Lewis, citing previous efforts to discredit EXPO head Tariq Rauf, writes that the situation has exceeded “normal, healthy sparring”, and some IAEA delegates have urged IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei to begin discussions on the evidence to be continued by his successor Yukiya Amano (Arms Control Wonk). In an internal email leaked in September, Rauf warned against making the “same mistakes” from the lead up to the Iraq War and pointed to “certain (known) sources” that were exaggerating the threat from Iran (Newsweek).
     ISIS lists several excerpts from an unreleased IAEA report on the disputed evidence, writing that technical experts believe the evidence appears authentic. The IAEA report, titled “Possible Military Dimensions of Iran’s Nuclear Program” [previously covered here], alleges that Iran has developed explosive technologies that could be used in a nuclear weapon and may be pursuing technologies to deliver a nuclear payload on their Shahab-3 missiles (ISIS).
     William J. Broad and others report that disputes over evidence also divide the US from its European and Israeli allies, leading to more pressure on the IAEA to disclose its unreleased reports. While the US has judged that Iran halted weapons design in 2003, Israeli and European officials believe the US is being overly cautious due to the intelligence failure leading to the Iraq War (New York Times).
Arms Control Wonk | Newsweek | ISIS | New York Times

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