Analysis: Can the CIA sabotage the Iranian nuclear weapons program?

Shahram Amiri

Shahram Amiri

There is no doubt that the CIA has been actively trying to sabotage Iran’s nuclear weapons program since at least February of 2008, when US President George W. Bush authorized Langley to intensify its covert efforts against Tehran. It is also true that the US was able to partially sabotage Iran’s nuclear program by eliminating the A.Q. Khan nuclear proliferation network, and by employing scientific front companies and cooperative suppliers, who gave the Iranians faulty hardware. The defection to Washington of senior Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri provides recent evidence of the existence of a covert US project to “decapitate” the Iranian nuclear weapons program, by luring away leading Iranian researchers. On the other hand, it is worth wondering why the CIA chose to remove Amiri from the Iranian nuclear program, instead of asking him to remain an agent-in-place, which would have been far more beneficial for Langley. Or could it be that Amiri had already been an agent-in-place for a number of years? No matter what the answer is, retired CIA officer Bruce Riedel is right to remind Agence France Presse that the US has not had an embassy in Tehran for over three decades, which has drastically hampered Washington’s ability to develop a significant intelligence presence in Iran, and renders the country “a difficult target for US spies”. This, Riedel notes, is coupled by Iran’s “effective counterintelligence service”, which has “a good track record” of combating foreign espionage networks. All of this put together, could mean that Washington is “so desperate to gain information on the Iranian nuclear program that we’ll take anything we can get”, notes Riedel.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

2 Responses to Analysis: Can the CIA sabotage the Iranian nuclear weapons program?

  1. Chris says:

    He will give us the intel stating Iran’s nuclear program is not for energy, but for military use.
    They now have a source of reliable information.
    Unless, this guy is a spy seeing what kind of intel we have.

  2. Iran can’t Hide Now.

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