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Iran nuclear talks: Why the trust gap is so great

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In November 2010 – the same month that another Iranian nuclear scientist was killed, and yet a third wounded in back-to-back bomb attacks in Tehran – IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano circulated an internal note on information security.

Following up in a March 2011 speech, Mr. Amano said the IAEA "continued to raise staff awareness of the vital importance of respecting confidentiality." He noted that 2,000 staff and contractors from the agency had passed a "mandatory information security test," and declared that the IAEA followed the "best practice in all aspects of information security."

Since then, in July 2011 in Tehran, gunmen on a motorcycle killed an Iranian electronics student, described in some news reports as working on high-voltage switches with a nuclear weapons use.

And in January, chemistry expert Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, who was also a procurement director of Iran's largest uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, was killed by a magnetized bomb stuck to his car while in traffic.

After that killing, Iran's deputy UN ambassador Eshagh al-Habib condemned the “terrorist attacks” and told the UN Security Council that Mr. Roshan had recently met with IAEA inspectors, "a fact that indicates that this UN agency may have played a role in leaking information on Iran's nuclear facilities and scientists."

Senior Iranian lawmaker Zohreh Elahian charged that there was "credible evidence" of IAEA involvement in "espionage on our nuclear activities."

The IAEA would not confirm or deny any previous inspector meetings with Roshan to the Monitor, and referred instead to a quote that IAEA spokeswoman Gill Tudor gave to Reuters shortly after the assassination: "The Agency has not released this man's name. We do not know him."

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