Saturday, 13 February 2010

"Who killed Professor Masoud Alimohammadi? The Iranian regime may turn to be right!"

Via "friday-lunch-club" 

In the Economist/ here

"... But listen to the whispers of Western spies and diplomats, and the Iranian regime may turn out to be right. Well-placed sources in two Western countries now say the professor was “one of the most important people involved in the programme”.
Such conclusions, admit some, are based on “imperfect insight” into the workings of Iran’s nuclear establishment that includes the public and ostensibly civil projects run by the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) and an overlapping but secret organisation run by the ministry of defence that focuses more on turning fissile material into nuclear weapons.
The AEOI said it had not employed Mr Alimohammadi. Several Iran-watchers said they had never heard of him until his death. But a Western counter-proliferation source says he “is known to have worked closely” with two key figures in Iran’s ministry of defence, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi and Fereidoun Abbasi-Davani. Both are on the UN’s sanctions list of Iranians whose assets are to be seized and whose travels must be reported to the UN....
In any event, Western spooks are undoubtedly trying to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions. There are stories of dodgy parts being slipped into the black market where Iran shops for components. Some prominent Iranians in recent years have mysteriously disappeared or died. They include General Ali Reza Asgari, reported to have defected; Ardeshir Hassanpour, a nuclear scientist, who died in 2007; and Shahram Amiri, another nuclear scientist, who went missing last year on the haj to Mecca.
What effect might all this have? Iranian scientists are said to have run into technical problems, with malfunctioning centrifuges, among other things. Inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN’s watchdog, have found that about half Iran’s centrifuges are idle and those that work are yielding little. Dennis Blair, America’s director of national intelligence, has taken this as evidence that Iran has been “experiencing some problems”.
A few days after the professor’s death, Al-Ahram, an Egyptian newspaper that tends to echo the government, ran a glowing front-page story calling Meir Dagan, head of Mossad, Israel’s spy service, the “Superman of the Jewish state”. But for him, it said, “Iran’s nuclear programme would long ago have been completed.”
Posted by G, Z, or B at 10:00 PM
River to Sea
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