Thursday, September 14, 2006

Stop me if you've heard this one before

from today's Guardian:

IAEA says Congress report on Iran's nuclear capacity is erroneous and misleading

· Claims about programme are 'unsubstantiated'
· Leak shows watchdog detected five major errors

The UN's nuclear watchdog has attacked the US Congress for what it termed an "erroneous, misleading and unsubstantiated" report on Iran's nuclear programme.

In a letter to the Republican chairman of the House of Representatives' intelligence committee, a senior director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said the report was "incorrect" in its assessment that Iran had made weapons-grade uranium at a site inspected by the agency. Instead, the letter said, the facility had produced only small amounts of uranium, which were below the level necessary for weapons.

Now, why does that sound so damn familiar? Oh yeah:

At this stage, the following can be stated:

One, there is no indication of resumed nuclear activities in those buildings that were identified through the use of satellite imagery as being reconstructed or newly erected since 1998, nor any indication of nuclear-related prohibited activities at any inspected sites.

Second, there is no indication that Iraq has attempted to import uranium since 1990.

Three, there is no indication that Iraq has attempted to import aluminum tubes for use in centrifuge enrichment. Moreover, even had Iraq pursued such a plan, it would have encountered practical difficulties in manufacturing centrifuge out of the aluminum tubes in question.

Fourth, although we are still reviewing issues related to magnets and magnet-production, there is no indication to date that Iraq imported magnets for use in centrifuge enrichment program.

As I stated above, the IAEA will naturally continue further to scrutinize and investigate all of the above issues.

After three months of intrusive inspections, we have to date found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapon program in Iraq.

"History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce."

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