Iran used IAEA documents to deceive nuclear inspectors: report

Revelations further complicate fading prospects to revive the Iranian nuclear agreement.

By David Hellerman, World Israel News

Iranian officials were able to gain access confidential UN documents and use them to deceive international nuclear inspectors more than 15 years ago, the Wall St. Journal reported on Wednesday.

According to the Journal, copies of internal International Atomic Energy Agency papers were found among the trove of Iranian nuclear documents stolen by the Israeli Mossad in 2018. The revelations will complicate already fading prospects of US efforts to revive the Iranian nuclear agreement.

The papers, marked as confidential, were shared among senior Iranian officials between 2004-2006, allowing Tehran to assess what the IAEA knew and didn’t know about Iran’s nuclear program, prepare cover stories and falsify information.

“Iran could design answers that admit to what the IAEA already knows, give away information that it will likely discover on its own, and at the same time better hide what the IAEA does not yet know that Iran wants to keep that way,” said David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security and a former UN weapons inspector.

Iran’s procurement of the documents “represents a serious breach of IAEA internal security,” Albright added.

“Some documents include handwritten notes in Persian on IAEA documents and attachments with Iranian commentary. In several of the documents reviewed by the Journal, Iranian officials credited ‘intelligence methods’ for obtaining the IAEA reports,” the report said.

The Journal said it was given access to the papers by “a Middle East intelligence agency that hails from a country that opposes Iran’s nuclear program.” A former IAEA official confirmed the documents’ authenticity.

Iranian and IAEA officials did not respond to requests for comment.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement that the report “was additional proof” that Iran has been working towards developing a nuclear bomb.

“The systematic policy of fraud, theft and concealing evidence by Iran against the IAEA should now become a definitive fact in the eyes of the international community,” Bennett’s statement said.