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May 31, 2022 12:22 pm

Israel Says Iran Stole Classified Docs From UN Atomic Agency to Evade Nuclear Probes

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett attends a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, May 29, 2022. Gil Cohen-Magen/Pool via REUTERS

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday accused Iran of stealing classified documents from the United Nations’ atomic agency and using “that information to systematically evade nuclear probes.”

“How do we know this? Because we got our hands on Iran’s deception plan a few years back,” said the premier, pointing to a stack of documents in a video posted to social media. “Here it is, in the Persian language, hundreds of pages marked with the stamp of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence.”

Bennett, who shared a link to scans of some of the alleged files, said Iran used the information they contained to determine what the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was hoping to find, “then created cover stories and hid evidence to evade their nuclear probes.”

Some of the documents have handwritten notes by senior Iranian officials on them, according to Bennett, who referenced one such note by Iran’s then-defense minister to top nuclear official Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. “Sooner or later they [the IAEA] will ask us, and we will need to have a comprehensive cover story for them,” the minister allegedly advised Fakhrizadeh, who was assassinated in a 2020 operation that Iran blamed on Israel.

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“Here is that cover story,” Bennet said, showing the documents. “Iran lied to the world. Iran is lying to the world again right now, and the world must make sure that Iran doesn’t get away scot-free.”

Bennett’s disclosure comes after the Wall Street Journal reported last week that Iran had “secured access” to secret IAEA reports nearly two decades ago and circulated the documents among top officials, who “prepared cover stories and falsified a record to conceal suspected past work on nuclear weapons.”

When asked about the alleged stolen reports while attending the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said, “Unfortunately, the Zionists are spreading a lot of lies.”

Israel’s disclosure comes a day after the IAEA published a report detailing that Iran did not provide credible explanations about uranium particles discovered at three undeclared nuclear sites, and ahead of the atomic agency’s board of governors meeting next week.

“Unfortunately this report does not reflect the reality of talks between Iran and the agency,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters on Tuesday. “This is not a fair nor balanced report, and it seems that pressure from the Zionists and other actors has diverted the path of technical reports to the political field — and we expect this trend to be corrected.

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