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U.S. trying to produce fake nuclear documents implicating Iran: intelligence minister

Tehran Times | December 22 2004

TEHRAN (MNA) -- Intelligence Minister Ali Yunesi said here on Wednesday that Iran has arrested more than 10 nuclear spies who worked for the United States.

Some of the nuclear spies were members of the terrorist Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO), but they were not able to transfer any important information, he added.

The information that the MKO members transferred was already common knowledge and by providing this information they claimed that Iran was seeking to produce nuclear weapons, the intelligence minister told reporters.

He said the U.S. intelligence service knew that the information the MKO provided was false but wanted the group to repeat these lies in order to prepare the ground for Washington to apply official pressure on Tehran.

Despite receiving false information, U.S. officials wanted the MKO to spy for them in order to divert attention from their main spies, and they thought that if the MKO made such a claim Iran would not notice the main spies.

“Neither the MKO nor the main spies succeeded in providing valuable information to the U.S. because we didn’t have any secret information and nothing was in violation of the NPT,” the intelligence minister added.

On the main mission of the spies, he said, “The spies wanted to disrupt nuclear activities and they wanted to prevent Iran from gaining access to nuclear technology. “Three years ago, one of the project managers, who had been deceived by the CIA, informed the U.S. that Iran’s progress was tangible and this was sad news for the U.S., and therefore he was given the mission to disrupt the work and the (Iranian) Intelligence Ministry arrested him.”

Yunesi noted that the spy was an employee of the Iranian Atomic Energy Agency and was the manager of one of the nuclear projects. The intelligence minister said that on another occasion the U.S. intelligence agency attempted to produce fake documents implicating Iran after Tehran agreed to suspend building centrifuges under a deal. For example, he said, “Some come to us and say that they can build equipment and we arrest them or somebody comes and announces that he sells uranium or a (nuclear) bomb like selling vegetables, and all these are guided by the intelligence services in order to create documents implicating Iran.”

Contaminating the environment of areas used for nuclear activities in order to claim that nuclear contamination had been found was another ploy used by spies, he added.

He said there was also industrial espionage activity meant to glean information about Iran’s nuclear expertise, but these efforts failed, too.

Yunesi went on to say that the United States has always been sensitive about Iran developing nuclear technology and has used all the means at its disposal to prevent Iran from gaining access to nuclear technology.

First, the Bushehr nuclear power plant was launched with the agreement of the United States before the Islamic Revolution and in addition to the Bushehr plant there were also plans to build some more nuclear power plants, he said.

However, after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, the Americans seriously objected to the continuation of the Bushehr project and barred some other countries like Germany, Japan, and China from finishing the project, he noted.

Also, during the war the U.S. gave the toppled Iraqi dictator a green light to bomb the Bushehr nuclear plant, he said.

Therefore, under U.S. pressure and sanctions, it was not possible for Iran to transfer nuclear technology from abroad and it had no alternative but to rely on its young scientists, Yunesi told reporters.

The intelligence minister said the U.S. monitored Iran’s nuclear activities comprehensively through its satellites and with the help of its agents and knew that Iran’s nuclear activities were not meant for military purposes.

For the past three years the U.S. has found out through its intelligence sources that Iran was on the verge of gaining access to nuclear technology, but it did not want to announce it, Yunesi said.

The U.S. employed its nuclear spies from some southern Persian Gulf Arab states, but they acted very unprofessionally, he added.