Iran's nuclear chief acknowledges espionage at facilities

Salehi: Personnel were lured by promises of better pay to pass secrets to the West; increased security, staff privileges have put stop to spying.

October 9, 2010 12:01
1 minute read.
Ahmadinejad visits of the Natanz Uranium Enrichmen

Ahmadinejad visits Natanz 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

TEHRAN — Iran's nuclear chief on Saturday said personnel at the country's nuclear facilities were lured by promises of better pay to pass secrets to the West, but that increased security and worker privileges has put a stop to the spying.

The stunning acknowledgment by Ali Akbar Salehi provided the clearest government confirmation that Iran has been fighting espionage at its nuclear facilities.

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Salehi was quoted Saturday by the semiofficial Fars news agency as saying that access to information has been restricted within nuclear facilities as part of the increased security measures.

Iranian Deputy Industry Minister for Technology Heidar Moslehi was quoted last week as saying authorities have arrested several nuclear spies, but he gave no details and it wasn't clear if the developments were related.

Over recent months, a malicious Stuxnet computer code had affected industrial systems in Iran, including to several personal computers of workers at Iran's first nuclear power plant, which is to go online later this year.

The United States and its allies have accused Iran of seeking to use its civil nuclear sites as a cover for a secret program to develop atomic weapons — a charge Iran has denied.

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