CIA says Israel helped prepare Qom report

By Daily Maverick Legacy 9 October 2009

According to The Jerusalem Post, US CIA chief Leon Panetta told Time the CIA was aware of Iran's “secret” nuclear plant in Qom in 2006, and European and Israeli intelligence agencies were involved in compiling a presentation on the facility to the UN's nuclear watchdog. Not such a surprise after all, apparently. Iran has been secretly constructing a new uranium enrichment plant inside a mountain just north of the holy city of Qom, and has just agreed to discuss future international inspection of the facility. “It was built into a mountain. Obviously that raised question marks,” Panetta said. He explained he learned about it once he became head of the CIA, and said the US spent months gathering more intelligence on the facility, including “covert operations”. Meanwhile, Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, told the BBC’s “Hard Talk” the newly-revealed site was constructed as a “contingency plan” in the event of a Western attack on the country's nuclear installations.

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