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David Sketchley



Joined: 09 Jun 2005
Posts: 85

Post Post subject: Exchange with the IAEA Reply with quote

This is my letter dated 18 September 2008:

Dear Ms Fleming,

On 12 September 2008 the Daily Telegraph in the UK published an article by Con Coughlin and Tim Butcher entitled "Iran renews nuclear weapons development" (1)

In the article they state "Nuclear experts responsible for monitoring Iran's nuclear programme have discovered that enough enriched uranium, which if processed to weapons grade level could be used to make up to six atom bombs, has disappeared from the main production facility at Isfahan"

Both IRNA and Press TV are reporting that you have said "The article, entitled 'Iran renews nuclear weapons development' published in [Friday's] Daily Telegraph by Con Coughlin and Tim Butcher is fictitious,". They also state that " IAEA's statement has been placed on its site", however I am unable to find this statement. Please could ytou provide me with the URL? (2)

Please could you also confirm this is indeed a fabrication and if so, have you written to the Daily Telegraph to complain about it?

many thanks

David Sketchley
Seville, Spain

Reply dated 19 September 2008 9:32:

Dear Mr. Sketchley,
Thank you for your email. Ms. Fleming sent our press list the attached statement last Friday, 12 September.
She also wrote to the Daily Telegraph, a letter to the editor (with the same text as found in the press statement), as well as something on the Telegraph blog/comments for the article. The comment entry was posted but her letter to the editor, as far as we are aware, was never published.
Thank you for your interest.
Best regards,

Elizabeth Dobie-Sarsam | Public Information Assistant | Media and Outreach Section | IAEA


She attached the following:

Mensaje reenviado ----------
From: <IAEA>
To: <prelease>
Date: Fri, 12 Sep 2008 12:38:35 +0200
Subject: Statement by IAEA Spokesperson on Daily Telegraph article on Iran

Dear Colleagues, following is a statement attributable to IAEA Spokesperson Melissa Fleming:

The article, entitled “Iran renews nuclear weapons development”, published in today’s Daily Telegraph by Con Coughlin and Tim Butcher is fictitious.

The IAEA Director General’s upcoming report on Iran will show that all nuclear material at the Uranium Conversion Facility in Isfahan (uranium in the form of UF6, which is produced as feedstock for enrichment) remains under Agency containment and surveillance. IAEA inspectors have no indication that any nuclear material is missing from the plant.

Uranium is not enriched at Isfahan, as the Telegraph story states, but at the Fuel Enrichment Plant in Natanz. That facility is subject to IAEA inspection and inspectors verify that no nuclear material there has been diverted.

IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency)
IAEA News
press@iaea.org | Tel. +43 1 2600 21273
www.iaea.org/Resources/Journalists | http://www.youtube.com/IAEAvideo
Fri Sep 19, 2008 1:56 pm
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David Sketchley



Joined: 09 Jun 2005
Posts: 85

Post Post subject: Lexis Nexis search, can a subscriber help please? Reply with quote

Lexis Nexis search, can a subscriber help please?

Posted by David Sketchley Email on September 19, 2008, 6:55 pm

This is about Con Coughlin's article on 12 September 2008 "Iran renews nuclear weapons development"

In it he stated "Nuclear experts responsible for monitoring Iran's nuclear programme have discovered that enough enriched uranium, which if processed to weapons grade level could be used to make up to six atom bombs, has disappeared from the main production facility at Isfahan.

The Isfahan complex, which enriches raw uranium "yellow cake" into material that can be used for either nuclear power or atomic weapons, is supposed to be subject to close supervision by the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). But the Iranians only allow IAEA inspectors access to the final stage of the production process, where the uranium in gas form - UF6 - is stored.

By conducting a careful study of the amount of material stored at Isfahan, and the amount of "yellow cake" known to have been processed at the plant, nuclear experts believe between 50-60 tons of uranium - which if enriched to weapons grade level would be sufficient to produce five or six atom bombs - has gone missing from the plant.

IAEA officials believe the Iranians have deliberately removed the uranium at a stage in the production process that is not under their supervision. "The inspectors only have limited access at Isfahan, and it looks as though Iranian officials have removed significant quantities of UF6 at a stage in the process that is not being monitored," said a nuclear official. "If Iran's nuclear intentions are peaceful, then why are they doing this?" Nuclear inspectors have also been concerned to discover that Gholamreza Aghazadeh, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, recently ordered scientists to increase the amount of UF6 being diverted from Isfahan to another storage facility."

This has already been mentioned here below by RonF, along with the dismissal by the IAEA of the story as fictitious.
http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1221739243.html


However, these denials linked are in the Iranian press or in a blog.

I wrote to the IAEA and they have replied. They state that " Ms. Fleming sent our press list the attached statement last Friday, 12 September."

Press list, that must include all agencies and newspapers right?

What I would like to know is how many other outlets apart from Iranian ones (more specifically British) have published this if any.

Elizabeth Dobie-Sarsam, Public Information Assistant, Media and Outreach Section of the IAEA also wrote in her reply to my query, that "She also wrote to the Daily Telegraph, a letter to the editor (with the same text as found in the press statement), as well as something on the Telegraph blog/comments for the article. The comment entry was posted but her letter to the editor, as far as we are aware, was never published."

I have posted my correspondence with the IAEA in the Forum here.
http://www.medialens.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=9817#9817

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Re: Lexis Nexis search, can a subscriber help please?

Posted by The Editors Email on September 19, 2008, 7:14 pm, in reply to "Lexis Nexis search, can a subscriber help please?"

Hi David

We've searched all the relevant terms: 'IAEA', 'Coughlin', 'Melissa Fleming', 'Dobie-Sarsam' and so on. There seems to have been no mention of anything since Coughlin's September 12 article. Certainly nothing from IAEA on the issue has been published anywhere. And of course no one has repeated Coughlin's claims - even the mainstream media have grown wise to his fictions.

Eds

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Re: Lexis Nexis search, can a subscriber help please?

Posted by Mr Bojangles on September 19, 2008, 8:03 pm, in reply to "Lexis Nexis search, can a subscriber help please?"

Any chance some/all of this excellent info could make its way into the wiki article about Con "the con-man" Coughlin??
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Con_Coughlin
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Re: Lexis Nexis search, can a subscriber help please?

Posted by Gingerzilla Email on September 19, 2008, 11:15 pm, in reply to "Lexis Nexis search, can a subscriber help please?"

I looked for this the other day myself because I was also unable to find the original statement anywhere bar the blogs previously mentioned on the MB or on the Iranian site.

I do wonder why have the IAEA not published this on their website? I thought it would count as a press release.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Many thanks Eds.

Posted by David Sketchley Email on September 20, 2008, 9:54 am, in reply to "Re: Lexis Nexis search, can a subscriber help please?"

Here is a reply to the IAEA:

Dear Elizabeth,

Many thanks for your kind reply.

I was wonderng why I couldn't find this statement on the IAEA website? Will you be publishing it?.

Con Coughlin has a history of publishing black propaganda on behalf of British Security Services, specifically MI6's counter-Iranian section (1).. He was the one that published this fiction: " "A handwritten memo, a copy of which has been obtained exclusively by the Telegraph ... [shows] documented proof that Mohammed Atta, the al Qaeda mastermind ... was trained in Baghdad by Abu Nidal, the Palestinian terrorist..." (2) And this: "North Korea is helping Iran to prepare an underground nuclear test similar to the one Pyongyang carried out last year." (3)

David Leigh wrote back in June 2000 in The Guardian that "Black propaganda - false material where the source is disguised - has been a tool of British intelligence agencies since the days of the second world war...readers of the Sunday Telegraph were regaled with with the dramatic story of the son of Libya's Colonel Gadafy and his alleged connection to a currency counterfeiting plan. The story was written by Con Coughlin, the paper's chief foreign correspondent and it was falsely attributed to a "British banking official". In fact, it had been given to him by officers of MI6, who, it transpired, had been supplying Coughlin with material for years." (4)

Do you have the web link to the Telegraph blog entry by Melissa?

Many thanks for kind help.

Yours Sincerely
David Sketchley
Seville, Spain

Notes:
(1) "Spies, Lies and Whistleblowers: MI5, MI6 and the Shayler Affair" Annie Machon Book Guild Ltd (May 2005) cited by David Leigh in the article in Note (4).

(2) "Terrorist behind September 11 strike was trained by Saddam" By Con Coughlin Daily Telegraph 13 Dec 2003

(3) "N Korea helping Iran with nuclear testing" By Con Coughlin Daily Telegraph 25 Jan 2007

(4) "Tinker, tailor, soldier, journalist"David Leigh, Guardian, Monday June 12 2000
Sat Sep 20, 2008 11:59 am
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David Sketchley



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Post Post subject: Further excahnge with the IAEA Reply with quote

Following is further exchange with the IAEA:

From: David Sketchley
Sent: Saturday, 20 September 2008 10:55
To: IAEA - Press Office
Subject: Re: Attn Melissa Fleming


Dear Elizabeth,

Many thanks for your kind reply.

I was wondering why I couldn't find this statement on the IAEA website? Will you be publishing it?.

Con Coughlin has a history of publishing black propaganda on behalf of British Security Services, specifically MI6's counter-Iranian section (1).. He was the one that published this fiction: " "A handwritten memo, a copy of which has been obtained exclusively by the Telegraph ... [shows] documented proof that Mohammed Atta, the al Qaeda mastermind ... was trained in Baghdad by Abu Nidal, the Palestinian terrorist..." (2) And this: "North Korea is helping Iran to prepare an underground nuclear test similar to the one Pyongyang carried out last year." (3)

David Leigh wrote back in June 2000 in The Guardian that "Black propaganda - false material where the source is disguised - has been a tool of British intelligence agencies since the days of the second world war...readers of the Sunday Telegraph were regaled with with the dramatic story of the son of Libya's Colonel Gadafy and his alleged connection to a currency counterfeiting plan. The story was written by Con Coughlin, the paper's chief foreign correspondent and it was falsely attributed to a "British banking official". In fact, it had been given to him by officers of MI6, who, it transpired, had been supplying Coughlin with material for years." (4)

Do you have the web link to the Telegraph blog entry by Melissa? I would like to quote it in the piece I am writing.

Many thanks for kind help.

Yours Sincerely
David Sketchley
Seville, Spain

Notes:
(1) "Spies, Lies and Whistleblowers: MI5, MI6 and the Shayler Affair" Annie Machon Book Guild Ltd (May 2005) cited by David Leigh in the article in Note (4).

(2) "Terrorist behind September 11 strike was trained by Saddam" By Con Coughlin Daily Telegraph 13 Dec 2003

(3) "N Korea helping Iran with nuclear testing" By Con Coughlin Daily Telegraph 25 Jan 2007

(4) "Tinker, tailor, soldier, journalist"David Leigh, Guardian, Monday June 12 2000
------------------------------------------------------------------------

This the reply:

Dear David,
Thank you for your email. We are aware of Mr. Coughlin's history. I think the decision was made to inform our press list but not to give Mr. Coughlin's article more coverage or the Daily Telegraph free advertisement and more traffic which is why we didn't put it up on our website.
Here is the link to the page where M. Fleming's comment entry appears. I just checked the site again and they never published her letter to the editor.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2008/09/12/do1206.xml

Dear Readers,
This article is fictitious.

The IAEA Director General’s upcoming report on Iran will show that all nuclear material at the Uranium Conversion Facility in Isfahan (uranium in the form of UF6, which is produced as feedstock for enrichment) remains under Agency containment and surveillance. IAEA inspectors have no indication that any nuclear material is missing from the plant.

Uranium is not enriched at Isfahan, as the Telegraph story states, but at the Fuel Enrichment Plant in Natanz. That facility is subject to IAEA inspection and inspectors verify that no nuclear material there has been diverted.

Best regards,

Melissa Fleming | Spokesperson, Head of Media and Outreach | press@iaea.org
Posted by Melissa Fleming, IAEA Spokesperson on September 12, 2008 12:18 PM



Best regards,
Elizabeth Dobie-Sarsam | Public Information Assistant | Media and Outreach Section | IAEA
Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:45 am
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