Tuesday, December 07, 2004

IAEA "Watchdog" Muffles His Own Bark

Did Mohamed El-Baradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, remove mention of Tehran's work with beryllium, a strategically important metal useful in constructing a nuclear weapon, in an early draft of the IAEA's September report on inspections in Iran? On December 3, Reuters claimed that a non-U.S. diplomat gave the news agency a three-page memorandum claiming that El-Baradei made the excision after objections were lodged by the Iranians.

Reuters reported that Iran had purchased large quantities of the metal from a number of countries. Together with Polonium-230, an isotope Iran is known to have worked with, beryllium can initiate the chain reaction in a nuclear bomb.

El-Baradei angrily denied the accusation of collaboration with Iran. "We never show a report to any single member" of the International Atomic energy Agency (IAEA), "not the least of course an inspected country." El-Baradei is well-aware that the Bush Administration is opposed to his gaining a third term in 2005 as IAEA chief.

The IAEA conceded that the agency had removed any mention of beryllium purchase from its report, but claimed that the change was insignificant.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily ("US Belatedly Attempts to Stem Movement of US Strategic Technology Via PRC to Iran, Others" Gregory R. Copley, December 6, 2004) reported that Global Information System had amassed "strong circumstantial evidence" that El-Baradei was "centrally and personally responsible for an attempt to derail U.S. investigations of the Iraqi nuclear weapons research program and its links with the Libyan nuclear program by 'revealing' that documentation held by the U.S. on the shipment of uranium from Niger to Iraq was forged."

The GIS report continued: "There is strong, ongoing evidence that Dr. El-Baradei has attempted on numerous occasions to oppose whatever actions the U.S. has taken to uncover military-related nuclear research program undertaken by Iran, Iraq and Libya, and, with the deliberate manipulation of the issue of Niger-supplied yellowcake for the Iraqi nuclear research program which was being undertaken in Libya, took steps to attempt to impact the U.S. domestic political climate with the apparent purpose of helping to remove incumbent U.S. Pres. George W. Bush, who was then running for re-election."

El-Baradei failed to shorten Bush's term, but he appears to have successfully shortened his own.

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|| headland, 2:04 AM

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