New revelations of CIA sabotage program in Iran
January 13, 2009 5 Comments
By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The New York Times has published a front-page exposé of an ongoing CIA operation to sabotage Iranian nuclear laboratories and installations. Citing “interviews over the past 15 months with current and former American officials, outside experts, international nuclear inspectors and European and Israeli officials” the paper reveals that President Bush authorized the CIA operation in early 2008, and will “hand [it] off to President-elect Barack Obama”. Bush reportedly has had to defend the covert program on at least one occasion against Israel’s insistence to launch air attacks on known Iranian nuclear sites. The CIA program is aimed at –among other things– “computer systems and other networks on which Iran relies”. This would partly explain why Washington, despite its protestations about foreign cyber-attacks directed at its computer systems, was the only country at the 63rd UN Assembly last September to vote against a Russian-sponsored resolution on international IT security. The New York Times says it has moderated its revelation of the covert CIA program “at the request of senior United States intelligence and administration officials, to avoid harming continuing operations”. Interestingly, these revelations came hours before the Iranian government announced the arrest and secret trial of four individuals “seeking to topple [the government] with the backing of the US State Department and the CIA”. The CIA activities revealed by The New York Times may be connected with the recent arrests by the Iranian government of workers in the country’s nuclear research program, which intelNews has been reporting on for the past two months. On December 11, 2008, this author wrote that “[t]he frequency with which reports of arrests of foreign or foreign-handled spies have been emerging from Iran in recent weeks, seems to point to a systematic uncovering by the Islamic Republic of an extensive spy network operating in the country”. Last November, intelNews further relayed rumors of an interception of an alleged ten-member British special operations team trying to penetrate Iran’s southeastern border.