Is the International Atomic Energy Agency hiding evidence of Iran’s nuclear weapons project? According to “senior Western diplomats and Israeli officials” who spoke to Haaretz, the answer is yes. The sources told Haaretz that IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei was the one concealing the goods, withholding information compiled from data his inspectors collected in the field. ElBaradei denies being in possession of any such evidence but that hasn’t stopped the United States, France, Britain, Germany and Israel from pressuring him to release it in a much-anticipated IAEA report due next month.
ElBaradei, a 2005 Nobel Peace Prize winner, is vacating his position this November, and the Israelis are hoping that his replacement, Japanese diplomat Yukiya Amano, will be more forthcoming about how far along Iran’s nuclear program is. The IAEA has in the past referred Iran to the United Nations Security Council for being in breach of various regulations governing uranium enrichment, something Iran officially claims it’s doing for “peaceful” energy-producing purposes.