IAEA sends `spies` to monitor Nuke programme: Iran

Iran`s Intelligence Minister accused IAEA of sending "spies" among the inspectors.

Last Updated: Dec 04, 2010, 18:57 PM IST

Tehran: Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi accused the UN atomic watchdog on Saturday of including "spies" among the inspectors it sends to Iran to monitor the nation`s controversial nuclear programme.

"The International Atomic Energy Agency has dispatched spies of foreign agencies among its inspectors and thus should be held accountable for this move," he was quoted by state-run television`s website as saying.

Moslehi did not elaborate, except to say that "international organisations that should prevent such acts are not fulfilling their duties."

This is not the first time that Iranian officials have singled out nuclear inspectors.

In late June, the Islamic republic barred two UN atomic watchdog inspectors from the country over a "false" nuclear report.

And last month, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said world powers were against solving the controversy over Iran`s nuclear programme and accused the IAEA of "giving information" to Washington.
This week Iran also launched a verbal attack on the United Nations, especially the Security Council, after two bombings on Monday in Tehran resulted in the death of one nuclear scientist and the wounding of another.

One of the two victims was on the list published by the United Nations of nuclear officials subject to international sanctions, and Tehran has accused the international organisation of providing targets for Israeli and western intelligence agencies.

"The three spy agencies of Mossad, CIA and MI6 had a role in the (attacks) and, with the arrest of these people, we will find new clues to arrest other elements," Moslehi said on Thursday.

On Thursday the authorities said "some elements" working with Western spy agencies had been arrested in connection with Monday`s bombings that killed Majid Shahriari and wounded Fereydoon Abbasi Davani.

Tehran has also admitted implicitly for the first time this week that its uranium enrichment plant in the central city of Natanz, which is regularly inspected by the IAEA, had been the victim of computer malware Stuxnet.

Some experts suspect the software was specifically created by Israel to target Iran`s nuclear programme.
Relations between Tehran and the Vienna-based UN watchdog have deteriorated since Japanese diplomat Yukiya Amano took over as IAEA director general just over a year ago.

Bureau Report