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US claims about Iran's nuclear programme 'baseless' - Guardian

London, Feb 23, IRNA - Much of the intelligence on Iran's nuclear facilities provided to UN inspectors by American spy agencies has turned out to be unfounded, according to diplomatic sources in Vienna, quoted by the Guardian newspaper Friday.

US intelligence on Iran does not stand up, say Vienna sources -Guardian

Most of the so-called tip-offs about supposed secret weapons sites provided by the CIA and other US intelligence agencies have led to dead ends when investigated by IAEA inspectors, the informed sources said.

"Most of it has turned out to be incorrect," said a diplomat at the International Atomic Energy Agency, who was said to have detailed knowledge of the agency's investigations.

"They gave us a paper with a list of sites. [The inspectors] did some follow-up, they went to some military sites, but there was no sign of [banned nuclear] activities," the diplomat said.

One particularly controversial claim back in July 2005 was over records of so-called plans to build a nuclear warhead, which the CIA said it found on a stolen laptop computer supplied by an informant inside Iran.

But the allegation has been rejected as forgeries and the Guardian said there were still reservations about its authenticity in the IAEA.

"If you have a clandestine programme, you don't put it on laptops which can walk away," one official said. There was also some suspicion because all the data was in English and there were not even any notes in Farsi.

The Guardian said that the US claims were reminiscent of the intelligence fiasco surrounding the Iraq war. They also coincided with attempts to build up international tension ahead of Iran being reported to the UN Security Council.

... Payvand News - 2/23/07 ... --

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