WASHINGTON — Israel and America are intensifying a clandestine war against Iran that has run hot and cold since the Islamic Revolution in 1979 but has grown more urgent as Iran races to obtain an atomic bomb.
That is a central claim in a new book, “The Secret War with Iran,” by an Israeli journalist, Ronen Bergman, who also details a series of mishaps during the past 2 1/2 years that have likely delayed Iran’s efforts to go nuclear.
While President Bush and other Western leaders have warned of the seriousness of the threat that Iran may obtain a nuclear weapon, little reporting has surfaced in the West on the efforts in the shadows to stop the Iranians. Mr. Bergman himself has had to skate a close line in this area, in part because of military censorship in Israel, where some of his reporting has been withheld from publication pending rulings from the Israeli Supreme Court.
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Nonetheless, the Israeli journalist compiles a picture that suggests that the West has had some successes in the war to stop the Iranian bomb. Mr. Bergman reports, for example, that in January 2007 Iran determined that some of its nuclear suppliers in Europe were fronts for Western intelligence services, specifically Britain’s MI6.
And Mr. Bergman writes that between February 2006 and March 2007, at least three planes “belonging to the Revolutionary Guards crashed in Iran, while carrying personnel connected with the security of the nuclear project.” Specialized pipes for centrifuges sold to Iran have been modified, he writes, and specialized computers sold to Iran for its nuclear laboratories contained viruses that sabotaged the code.