I’ve been thinking this for some time, haven’t said it, so I know I don’t get credit, but both Mark Hibbs and Julian Borger said it today: IAEA inspectors had the same questions about that AP graph purporting to show Iranian nuclear weapon calculations that a number of bloggers and other commentators, including me, brought up since the graph surfaced.
Debate in the media over the meaning of the leaked Iran document probably resembled internal discussion of how to interpret some documentary evidence obtained by the IAEA. Conversations with enough people who might know have persuaded me that the IAEA had likely seen and evaluated the document before it was leaked to the press, and that there was an internal discussion at the IAEA about whether the document was genuine and what it implied.
“This is just one small snapshot of what the IAEA is working on, and part of a much broader collection of data from multiple sources,” the diplomat said.
“The particular document turns out to have a huge error but the IAEA was aware of it and saw it in the context of everything it has. It paints a convincing case.”
When you step back a little from the keyboard and the need to be the smartest guy in the class with what’s wrong with everyone else’s homework, it should be obvious that the questions you’re asking might be thought up by someone else. I know that in all the kerfuffle, there were at least three of us who suggested that kT might not mean kilotons, because that is usually abbreviated kt, for only one example.
I’m not sure I agree with Borger’s theme that the release of the graph has undermined the IAEA. Only those who felt that AP’s source was reliable seem to believe this. But let me think about that overnight.
Borger also points out that Mossad is very active in Vienna. Golly gee, do you think they might be some of those anonymous officials and diplomats that people like the AP’s George Jahn quote?
Both articles contain a lot more.