Extracted from a SMH news item, sourced to Reuters and the Washington Post, with the first two paragraphs re-positioned by KTemoc for context:
The IAEA had openly clashed with the Bush Administration on pre-war assessments of alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Relations all but collapsed when the agency revealed that the White House had based some allegations about an Iraqi nuclear program on forged documents.
After no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq, the agency came under criticism for taking a cautious approach on Iran, which the White House says is trying to build nuclear weapons in secret. At one point, the Administration orchestrated a failed campaign to remove the agency's director, Mohamed ElBaradei.
United Nations inspectors investigating Iran's nuclear program have angrily complained to the Bush Administration and a Republican congressman about a report on Iran's capabilities, calling parts of the document "outrageous and dishonest".
International Atomic Energy Agency officials, who produced evidence to refute the report's main claims, said in a letter on Wednesday that the report contained "erroneous, misleading and unsubstantiated statements".
The letter, signed by a senior director at the agency, was addressed to Peter Hoekstra, the chairman of the House of Representatives intelligence committee, which issued the report. A copy also was hand-delivered to Gregory Schulte, the US ambassador to the IAEA in Vienna.
The agency noted five significant errors in the committee's report, which claimed Iran's nuclear capabilities were more advanced than either the agency or US intelligence had shown.
The report said Iran was producing weapons-grade uranium. The IAEA called that "incorrect", noting that weapons-grade uranium is enriched to a level of at least 90 per cent; Iran had enriched uranium to 3.5 per cent, and done so under agency monitoring.
The UN letter surfaced as the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said he was open to new conditions to resolve Tehran's standoff with the West over its nuclear program and believed talks could end the dispute.
"I am announcing that we are available, we are ready for new conditions," Mr Ahmadinejad said yesterday, before leaving for a Non-Aligned Movement summit in Cuba.
Several intelligence officers privately said the report included at least a dozen claims that were either demonstrably wrong or impossible to substantiate.
"This is like prewar Iraq all over again," said David Albright, a former nuclear inspector who is president of the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security. "You have an Iranian nuclear threat that is spun up, using bad information that's cherrypicked, and a report that trashes the inspectors."
The report's author, Fredrick Fleitz, is a one-time CIA officer who had been a special assistant to John Bolton, the Administration's former point man on Iran at the State Department. Mr Bolton, now US ambassador to the United Nations, had been highly influential during President George Bush's first term in crafting a policy that rejected talks with Tehran.
Also read the article John Bolton's Yellowcake to see teh nefarious activities of John Bolton and his aide Fredrick Fleitz.
That's how Washington chickenhawks like Bolton and Vice President Cheney, who themselves craftily avoided the draft for Vietnam, send young Americans to die in other wars in distant lands.