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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Israeli spies scouring Iran for evidence of nuclear weapons?

Put an Uzi Mahnaimi alert on this one. This time, the Times of London's Israel correspondent claims that Israel has spies based in Kurdistan who are attempting to find 'definitive evidence' of Iranian nuclear weapons. No link for this one either - it's behind a paywall. Someone fished it off Lexis/Nexis for me and sent it.
ISRAEL is using a permanent base in Iraqi Kurdistan to launch cross-border intelligence missions in an attempt to find "smoking gun" evidence that Iran is building a nuclear warhead.

According to western intelligence sources, the Israelis, who have a close relationship with the semi-autonomous Kurds, have been conducting such operations for several years.

In recent months they have intensified, aimed at the Parchin military complex near Tehran to which the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations nuclear watchdog, has been denied access. The IAEA has voiced suspicions that a military nuclear capability is being developed there.

Cross-border operations are also aimed at Fordow near the holy city of Qom, a protected site where Iran says it is conducting intensive uranium enrichment. This process could lead to military-grade purification, although Iran insists it is intended for peaceful purposes.

Israel has used sensitive equipment during its covert operations to monitor the radioactivity and magnitude of explosives tests.

[Here's where Mahnaimi becomes really unbelievable. CiJ] Israeli special forces are using Black Hawk helicopters to carry commandos disguised as members of the Iranian military and using Iranian military vehicles, according to the sources. The Black Hawks can carry about 10 commandos in full gear and two pilots about 500 miles without refuelling.

Earlier this month the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China called on Iran to co-operate fully with UN inspectors and allow them to visit the Parchin site. The last IAEA inspection was in 2005.

"We've detected clean-up efforts recently in Parchin which might indicate that the Iranians are trying to hide evidence of warhead tests in preparation for a possible IAEA visit," said a western source.

The Israelis said 10 years ago they had provided the IAEA with information pointing to possible nuclear tests at Parchin. But when IAEA inspectors were allowed in, no trace of such experiments was found.

The nuclear programme, which started more than 20 years ago, has three components - uranium enrichment, the Shahab-3 missile and weaponisation - to fit the bomb and detonator to the missile.

Earlier this month Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, is reported to have passed to President Barack Obama new evidence about the programme, some of which was a result of cross-border operations.

In 2003, after the US invasion of Iraq, the Iranians are said to have stopped their weaponisation programme for fear of being the next in line.

A US intelligence report indicated this in 2007, but caused confusion because it led many to believe that Iran had stopped its quest for a nuclear weapon. "While the weaponisation stopped, building ballistic missiles and the enrichment process continued," said the source. The Israelis blame this confusion for delaying effective sanctions against Iran.

In the past, cross-border operations by the Israelis have been the precursor to a military strike. In September 2007 Israeli jets attacked a secret Syrian nuclear reactor built with the help of North Korean experts and financed by the Iranians.

A short time before the attack, a group of Israeli soldiers carried out a cross-border intelligence operation to collect evidence of radioactivity.
I believe that Israeli intelligence has many assets on the ground in Iran (in fact, I know that they have). But Blackhawk helicopters ferrying spies in Iranian uniforms from Kurdistan? Come on....

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At 1:11 AM, Blogger Juniper in the Desert said...

The Sunday Times has form: namely with regard to traitor, Mordechai Vanunu: "is a former Israeli nuclear technician who, citing his opposition to weapons of mass destruction, revealed details of Israel's nuclear weapons program to the British press in 1986...In early September 1986, Vanunu flew to London with Hounam, and in violation of his non-disclosure agreement, revealed to the Sunday Times his knowledge of the Israeli nuclear programme, including photographs he had secretly taken at the Dimona site."
Before that they were successfully hoaxed by the fake Hitler diaries. However now that a wealthy member of the Saudi ruling family owns part of News International, they will be doing their best to spread propaganda about Israel, on the basis they have contacts like Vanunu.


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