Iran's Nuclear Chief Admits Providing IAEA With False Information

Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani says misinformation meant to protect nuclear program, denies claims Iran is blocking inspectors from sites.

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
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Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani admitted to the London-based al-Hayat newspaper on Thursday to providing false information to International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors in order to protect his country’s nuclear facilities and achievements.

Davani, who heads the mission that arrived in Vienna for the annual Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty meeting, claimed that Western intelligence agencies – highlighting the British secret service – are collecting information on people with links to the Iranian nuclear program, some of whom include the scientists killed by Israeli agents. It turns out some of these figures were investigated by IAEA inspectors.

“Sometimes we provided false information since there was no other choice but to mislead other intelligence agencies; sometimes we made ourselves appear weak and at other times we reported issues that made us appear strongly than we really were, he said, adding: "Ultimately it became exposed when inspectors directly asked us about these issues."

Referring to the UN's stance toward Iran, Tehran's nuclear chief sad he rejected the IAEA’s hostile position towards us and for treating us as if we are guilty, leaving the onus on us to prove our innocence."

"This is the same tactic that was taken against Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq, and they are searching a legal framework to isolate Iran and worsen sanctions,” he added.

Davani estimated that the issue surrounding his country’s nuclear program will once again come up in the Security Council in November, in accordance with IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano’s plan and under American pressure.

The U.S. has already made plans and is trying to get international legal approval from the United Nations and Security Council. If this does not succeed, they will try to lead a strike but in the meantime, they cannot do so.

Davani rejected the claim that Iran is preventing inspectors from visiting his country’s nuclear facilities:

“Every time they have asked to visit the facilities, we approved it within two hours, but we do not permit entrance into other sites that they claim constitute nuclear facilities, but which are in fact used for other military operations – for example a site in Parchin that has existed for 90 years, where we are developing weapons, primarily for aerial defense," the Iranian nuclear chief siad.

Abbasi added that Iran has "taken steps to bar aerial or satellite photos of these sites and this is why they want inspectors to enter the site and are trying to plant them as part of the international agency’s framework of inspectors."

Earlier this week, Davani accused the IAEA of attempting to sabotage its nuclear program, claiming that "terrorists and saboteurs" might have infiltrated the agency in an effort to derail it. He insisted that his country's program is aimed solely at making reactor fuel and medical research.

Satellite image showing the military complex at Parchin, Friday, Aug. 13, 2004. Credit: AP
Iran's Head of Atomic Energy Organization Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani makes a speech during the 56th IAEA General Conference at the UN headquarters in Vienna September 17, 2012.

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