Tehran blames it on West

Iran's nuclear chief has acknowledged that the West had managed to infiltrate its nuclear facilities but Tehran had emerged successful in combating espionage.

Mr. Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran's Atomic energy agency, told the semi-official Fars News Agency that the West had lured employees at Iran's nuclear facilities to pass secrets by promising better pay.

However, spying has been brought to an end by adoption of better security measures and more incentives to nuclear staff.

On October 2, Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi had said many spies in the nuclear establishment had been arrested. He made the comment after Iran acknowledged that the computer virus Stuxnet had found its way in the personal computers of some of the top officials working at Iranian atomic facilities. It has been widely suspected that the sophisticated Stuxnet malware which hijacks industrial software of equipment provided by the German firm Siemens was developed by a government agency.

Mr. Salehi said access to information inside Iran's nuclear establishment had now been restricted as part of heightened security measures.

In a related development, a senior Iranian official on Saturday has denied the Pakistan-based extremist group, Jundollah had abducted an Iranian nuclear scientist. “The individual who was abducted in Isfahan (Central Iran) is not a nuclear scientist and was just a worker of a nuclear power plant and who cut his relations with the organisation four year ago,” Deputy Governor-General of Isfahan for Political and Security Affairs Mohammad Mehdi Esmaili was quoted as saying.

In a statement, Jundollah claimed that it had kidnapped Iranian scientist Amir Hossein Shirani a few days ago, but did not mention an exact date. Analysts say that Jundollah is looking for avenues to avenge the capture by the Iranian intelligence agencies of its leader Abdolmalek Rigi, which was followed by his hanging in June.

  • Employees lured by incentives, says Iran
  • Tehran denies Jundollah's claim on scientist