Iraq, Iran and here we go again

The IAEA says a House committee report contains "erroneous, misleading and unsubstantiated statements" about Iran's nuclear program.

Published September 14, 2006 7:52PM (EDT)

In a letter to House Intelligence Committee chairman Peter Hoekstra, the senior director of the International Atomic Energy Agency says a recent report out of Hoekstra's committee contained "erroneous, misleading and unsubstantiated statements" about Iran's nuclear plans and the IAEA's efforts to track them.

As the Washington Post reports, the IAEA says the committee report incorrectly stated that Iran was producing weapons-grade uranium at a plant in Natanz; falsely claimed that the IAEA's Nobel Peace Prize-winning executive director had removed a senior inspector from the Iran probe in retaliation for raising concerns about alleged Iranian deception, when, in fact, the inspector hadn't been removed at all; and made the "outrageous and dishonest" claim the IAEA has an "unstated" policy that bars inspectors from telling the truth about Iran.

"Privately," the Post says, "several intelligence officials said the committee report included at least a dozen claims that were either demonstrably wrong or impossible to substantiate."

The IAEA's letter comes as Senate Republicans continue to stall an investigation into allegations that the Bush administration misused intelligence on Iraq and as somebody -- the "intelligence community" or the White House? -- is blocking public disclosure of information about that much-hyped Mohammed Atta meeting that seems never to have occurred.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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