Iranian Nuclear Scientist Secretly Moved to U.S., Report Says
- Iranian Nuclear Scientist Secretly Moved to U.S., Report Says
Thursday, April 1, 2010 9:56 AM
From: "Art Garland" <artsr3@...>Add sender to ContactsTo: "Art Garland" <artsr3@...>
Subject: Iranian Nuclear Scientist Secretly Moved to U.S., Report Says
On Wed, 31 Mar 2010 17:30:24 -0500, "Brett Dula" forwarded
Iranian Nuclear Scientist Secretly Moved to U.S., Report Says
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
An Iranian nuclear physicist who disappeared during a trip to Saudi Arabia
last year has defected to the United States, where he has taken up residence
and provided the CIA with information on Tehran's nuclear activities, ABC
News reported yesterday GSN, March 30).
(Mar. 31) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy, left, and U.S. President
Barack Obama run onto a stage for a press conference at the White House
yesterday. The leaders called for international consensus to impose new
economic penalties on Iran (Alex Wong/Getty Images).
Officials referred to Shahram Amiri's defection as an "intelligence coup" in
ongoing CIA efforts to monitor and subvert Iran's nuclear program, said
sources briefed on the development. Washington, Jerusalem and several
European governments suspect Iran's nuclear program is geared toward weapons
development, an assertion Tehran has denied.
Amiri was reportedly employed at Malek Ashtar University in Tehran, which
the Associated Press said has strong ties to the Iranian Revolutionary
Guard. He has purportedly helped verify U.S. intelligence judgments about
Iran's nuclear work, but the ultimate impact of the scientist's defection
was unclear, said former White House counterterrorism adviser Richard
"The significance of the coup will depend on how much the scientist knew in
the compartmentalized Iranian nuclear program," Clarke said. "Just taking
one scientist out of the program will not really disrupt it."
The CIA sought out Amiri through a person who communicated a resettlement
offer to the scientist, ABC News reported. The intelligence agency has
worked to win defections by Iranian nuclear scientists since the late 1990s,
former U.S. intelligence officials said (Matthew Cole, ABC News
ia-intelligence/story?id=10231729> , March 30).
Meanwhile, U.S. President Barack Obama yesterday expressed optimism that the
U.N. Security Council would soon adopt a fourth sanctions resolution aimed
at pressuring Iran over its nuclear activities, Reuters reported.
"My hope is that we are going to get this done this spring," he said. "I'm
interested in seeing that regime in place in weeks."
"Now, do we have unanimity in the international community? Not yet. And
that's something that we have to work on," Obama said. Russia and China,
permanent Security Council members with veto authority over the body's
decisions, have expressed varying reservations about hitting Iran with a new
round of economic penalties (Holland/Ljungren, Reuters
<http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE62T5FE20100331> , March 31).
"Let's be honest: Iran is an oil producer and there are a lot of countries
around the world that, regardless of Iran's offenses, are thinking that
their commercial interests are more important," the Wall Street Journal
quoted Obama as saying in a likely reference to China (Peter Spiegel, Wall
tml> , March 31).
Tehran has rejected attempts at diplomatic outreach, the president added.
"The door remains open if the Iranians choose to walk through it," he said
French President Nicolas Sarkozy echoed Obama's call for additional
sanctions, Agence France-Presse reported.
"The time has come to take decisions. Iran cannot continue its mad race,"
Sarkozy said during a press conference with Obama in Washington.
With British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and German Chancellor Angela
Merkel, "we will make all necessary efforts to ensure that Europe as a whole
engages in the sanctions regime," Sarkozy said (Agence France-Presse
kozy> , March 30). The French president discussed Iran's nuclear work in
recent meeting with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations
said, according to RIA Novosti (RIA Novosti
<http://en.rian.ru/world/20100330/158360160.html> , March 30).
At a meeting in Canada of top diplomats from the Group of Eight
industrialized nations, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said
yesterday an international consensus was emerging in favor of new sanctions
on Iran, according to the New York Times.
"We see a growing awareness on the part of many countries, including China,
as to the consequences of a nuclear-armed Iran to regional and global
stability," Clinton said (Peter Baker, New York Times
<http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/31/world/middleeast/31prexy.html> , March
"The last 15 months have demonstrated clearly the unwillingness of Iran to
fulfill its international obligations. And that's the basis on which I
expressed my optimism that we are going to have a consensus reached in the
Security Council," Kyodo News quoted her as saying (Kyodo News/Breitbart.com
<http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9EPBB3G3&show_article=1> , March
Speaking for the G-8 nations, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper called
for "a heightened focus and stronger coordinated action, including sanctions
if necessary, on the Iranian regime," the Associated Press reported
(Gillies/Lee, Associated Press/Google News
akwD9EP53IO0> , March 30).
"Tehran must halt its nuclear enrichment activities and engage in peaceful
dialogue," AFP quoted Harper as saying. The uranium enrichment process can
generate civilian nuclear fuel as well as bomb material.
"There is much at stake," he said. "If nuclear proliferation leads to the
use of nuclear weapons, whether by states or [nonstate actors], then no
matter where the bombs are set off, the catastrophe will be felt around the
world" (Agence France-Presse II, March 30).
Meanwhile, top Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili is expected to meet
tomorrow with senior officials in China tomorrow. Jalili would conduct
"bilateral talks and discuss the nuclear issue," according to Iranian state
media (Agence France-Presse III/Spacewar.com
<http://www.spacewar.com/afp/100331083415.r9piveob.html> , March 31).
Imposing new economic penalties on Iran could complicated the U.N. task of
ensuring the country does not divert nuclear material for military use,
International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano told Deutsche
The U.N. nuclear watchdog is investigating Iran's claims that it intends to
begin work on two new uranium enrichment facilities and eventually build 10
new enrichment sites, Amano said. "We are now following this issue
carefully. But we don't have specific pieces of information on the
construction of these 10 or two facilities," he said.
Agency officials have not yet negotiated a new monitoring arrangement for
Iran's production of higher-enriched uranium at its Natanz complex, Amano
added (Otti/Bandar, Deutsche Presse-Agentur/Earth Times
nctions-will-make-life-hard-for-agency.html> , March 30).
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]