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Iran Used Secret U.N. Records to Evade Nuclear Probes

A new report alleges that Iran secured access to secret UN atomic agency reports and used them to evade nuclear probes by circulating the documents among top officials, who were then able to prepare cover stories and falsify records. Middle East Intelligence officials and documents reviewed by the Wall Street Journal support the theory that the documents were used to conceal suspected past work on nuclear weapons from the UN probes investigating them. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) documents and some Persian-language Iranian records reveal that Tehran used certain tactics to avoid the agency that is tasked with monitoring compliance with the nuclear nonproliferation treaties. The US and the IAEA have claimed for years that Iran failed to answer questions about its past nuclear work.

The allegations complicate a revival of the nuclear deal, which lifted most international sanctions on Iran given that the country halts its nuclear activities. According to Middle East intelligence officials, the documents from the IAEA were circulated between 2004 and 2006 among Iranian military, government, and nuclear program officials. The IAEA was tasked with investigating information that suggested Iran worked on nuclear weapons, however, armed with the IAEA documents Iran was likely able to cover evidence and twist narratives before the agency paid a visit. Neither the IAEA nor the Iranian government has commented on the discovery. The records accessed by Iran were allegedly among more than 10,000 documents seized by Israeli intelligence from a Tehran archive in 2018, and they have since been passed over to the US to review.

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OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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