The IAEA is due to release its latest findings on Iran’s nuclear program and is likely to give Iran a relatively clean bill of health. The US and Israel are however stepping up the rhetoric in order to preempt any relaxing of the guard over Iran’s nuclear program. The Asia Times has a good opinion article on the issue:
A new report on Iran by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is about to be released and US “pre-emptive” diplomacy, aimed at preventing an IAEA “clean bill of health” that could derail Washington’s effort for a new round of UN sanctions on Iran, is at full throttle – with the timely help of disinformation.
Setting the bar unusually high, the US envoy at the IAEA, Gregory Schulte, has warned that unless Iran “confesses” about its “past work on weapons designs and weaponization and the role of the Iranian military”, international efforts to resolve the nuclear standoff will be “doomed”.
Washington’s brand new benchmark comes in the wake of a spate of US media reports that the US has “shared new intelligence” with the IAEA that corroborates American allegations of past Iranian nuclear proliferation activities. According to the New York Times, the US decided to “turn over intelligence data” and allow the IAEA privileged access for “divulging confidential information” by reversing “longstanding refusal to show the data, citing the need to protect intelligence sources”.
A widely published report by Associated Press cites diplomats as saying that the material forwarded to the IAEA over the past two weeks expands on previous information from the Americans.
But, we learn, the new information pertains to data from the same “stolen laptop” that was the source of the previous information, which was termed unreliable at the time by, among others, David Albright, the president of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) in Washington. (For more on the laptop story see the author’s The IAEA and the new world order, Asia Times Online, February 3, 2006.)
Meanwhile, in response to this author’s request for clarification regarding this matter, a source close to the IAEA has called the US media reports “misleading”. The source said: “Without going into the intelligence we may or may not have received, I can say that in my view, these news reports were misleading. The [IAEA] report [on Iran] is due to come out Friday or Monday and then things will become clearer for everyone.”
Another good example of the misinformation campaign the US and Israel are stirring up is the latest revelations from an Exile Iranian political group called, “National Council of Resistance of Iran.”
“The clerical regime (in Iran) has not ceased its nuclear weapons programme, rather it has expedited its activities and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has taken greater control of the programme,” said Mohadessin, chairman of the group’s foreign affairs committee.
This group is actually a part of the MEK terrorist group, responsible for numerous terrorist attacks within Iran, and was supported by Saddam Hussein up until the 2003 Gulf war.
The group has also been working with the CIA according to Scott Ritter:
We hear much about these accusations on the front pages of American newspapers, but what we don’t hear about are acts of terrorism directed at both civilian and military targets by Iranian “dissidents,” who are reportedly receiving covert U.S. assistance. These groups include the Jundallah organization in Baluchistan, said to be affiliated with al-Qaeda, and the sinister, cult-like Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK), a shadowy Marxoid group that was supported by Saddam Hussein and still maintains a presence at Camp Ashraf [.pdf] in Iraq, as well as enjoying a wide array of bipartisan support in Congress.
Scott Ritter, in his book Target Iran: The Truth About the White House’s Plans for Regime Change, has described CIA-MEK cross-border operations, in which the Americans – and the Israelis – are conducting provocations that could lead to an open conflict with Iran. The focus of these efforts, he says, is on Baluchistan and Khuzestan.
With strong bipartisan support, Congress recently appropriated millions of dollars in aid to Iranian “resistance” groups, with practically no oversight as to how that money is being used – and the scramble for American gold is on. The American front group for the MEK, the National Council of Resistance, has plenty of high-level contacts in Washington, just as Ahmed Chalabi did in the run-up to war with Iraq. The MEK and other Iranian exile groups are busily lobbying for a similar gig as the administration escalates its plans for “regime change” in Tehran.
The Iraqi government has recently reiterated its position that the MEK is a terrorist organization, an opinion shared by the European Union and the U.S. Department of State. However, not everyone in the U.S. administration agrees. And what are we to make of the near-total redaction of a mysterious document that came to light in the Libby trial – a memo to Libby from John Hannah detailing “views of MEK leaders on continuing role in Iraq”? That’s all we’re allowed to know: aside from a reference to MEK briefing slides, the rest is blanked out.
Of course, Iran is not showing any fear of the USA or Israel as is evidenced by Ahmadinejad’s recent speech against Israel, calling the Zionist regime a “savage animal.” The Foreign Minister of Iran has also recently stated that Hezbollah will destroy Israel.
Does it take a prophet to prophesy where these sorts of signs are headed?