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Iran Acknowledges Espionage At Nuclear Facilities 175

wiredmikey writes "Iran acknowledged Saturday that some personnel at the country's nuclear facilities were lured by promises of money to pass secrets to the West but insisted increased security and worker privileges have put a stop to the spying. The stunning admission by Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi provides the clearest government confirmation that Iran has been fighting espionage at its nuclear facilities."
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Iran Acknowledges Espionage At Nuclear Facilities

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  • Obviously (Score:5, Funny)

    by mr100percent ( 57156 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @05:08AM (#33857472) Homepage Journal

    Iran is being spied upon. And in other news, horoscopes are fake and pie is delicious.

    • by The_mad_linguist ( 1019680 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @05:11AM (#33857484)

      My horoscope says that delicious pies are spying on Iran!

      Who can I trust?!

      • Trust Nemo.

        Honestly, if you can't trust a fictious post-traumatic stress disorder victim vigilante with his own nuclear-powered submarine, who can you trust?

      • by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @08:08AM (#33858006) Homepage Journal

        Well clearly, you can trust these people: Ahmadinejad, Bush, Putin, Obama, Cheney, Limbaugh, Krugman, Bernanke, Geithner, Beck and such.

    • Re:Obviously (Score:4, Interesting)

      by pspahn ( 1175617 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @05:11AM (#33857486)

      The secret to a good pie crust is 1/4 cup of vodka in place of some of the water. Of course, it burns off in the oven, so if you have an alcoholic at turkey dinner this year, you really don't have to tell them.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by thijsh ( 910751 )
        I wonder what else you put in the food and don't tell the relatives... Your ideas intrigue me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
      • by TheLink ( 130905 )
        Just curious - how does it work?
    • This isn't spying, this is interfering and undermining in key plans and personell. Probably what got Iran upset with the west in the first place.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Lord Ender ( 156273 )

      in other news, horoscopes are fake and pie is delicious.

      Our intelligence shows that it is actually yellow cake which is delicious.

  • by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @05:23AM (#33857502)

    It's amazing how little we require of foreign powers these days, in order to believe that they're making some sort of tremendous admission. I blame the Iraqi Information Minister [] for causing us to set the bar so low.

  • The stunning admission by Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi provides the clearest government confirmation that Iran has been fighting espionage at its nuclear facilities.

    Truly amazing indeed...

  • Seriously. It's no secret that alot of countries are concerned about Iran's nuclear program because (and likely so) they are worried it is for development of nuclear weapons. Of course there are going to be attempts to get information, and part of that is going to be attempting to buy secrets.
    • That's not so much a problem now that the Iranian Nuclear Scientists are all living in government supplied "housing" with Armed Guards to protect them from being kidnapped by the CIA.

  • "Now, these routes have been blocked. The possibility of information leaking is almost impossible now," Salehi was quoted as saying.

    I am frankly amazed that anybody would risk getting caught spying in Iran given that they were going to stone a woman to death because she may or may not have cheated on her husband after he died of natural causes. Or is it a double standard: one woman commits a sex crime and they go all mediaeval on her but one of the guys steals nuclear secrets and gets a slap on the wrist?

    • Four reasons (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @06:54AM (#33857774)

      That can be summed up as MICE:

      Money. This is an easy one to understand. People are greedy. You find the right kind of person and toss the right amount of money (surprisingly too much can be as ineffective as too little) at them, they'll do it. Yes it is dangerous but then people get in to drug trafficking all the time and that is dangerous even if you don't take jail in to account. The money makes it attractive to some.

      Ideology. Some people disagree with the ideals of their government. Some REALLY disagree. This is true in any nation, but Iran probably has more problems than most. If you've not noticed their government has been having a bit of a popularity problem lately to the point of massive protests and fixed elections. So someone may decide it is worth the risk to help a nation they see as having the proper ideology, a nation that can maybe help against the government in Iran.

      Conscience. Most humans have one, even if it sometimes has a rather strange calibration. When someone's conscience is offended enough, they may go and do things like espionage despite the risks. Perhaps some people are really worried, they suspect that the reactors will be used for weapons, and they think the government is crazy enough to use them. They don't want to see their country destroyed, so they try and help other nations to put a stop to the nuclear program.

      Ego. Some people will do it just for pure ego, just for the thrill basically. They figure they can get away with it, they are smarter than the government, whatever, just pure ego drives them. Stupid? Sure, but then think about how many cases of pure ego pushing people to do stupid things you've seen.

      That is just how it goes. Punishments don't matter. The US managed to spy on the Soviet Union successfully plenty, and the punishment there was death after torture basically (torture wasn't official, just a part of the interrogation basically). Spying has been going on forever, and will probably continue to do so. It is generally dealt with very harshly (death is an extremely common sentence in history) but it still happens.

      • by Chocky2 ( 99588 )

        "Coercion" or "compromise" usually, rather than conscience, which would tend to fall under ideology, whereas coercion is primarily blackmail/initmidation/etc

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Doing something for money doesn't mean you are doing it out of greed. Debt(and often times not even your own debt) drives people to do things they would never ever have considered otherwise. Just look at Van Tuong Nguyen []. The guy smuggled drugs through Singapore to help repay his BROTHERS debt even though he knew he was risking serious penalties if caught. Well he did get caught and it ended up costing him his life.

        Thats why the number one cause of people getting denied/losing their security clearance
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        At least cite your source!

        Tom Clancy, Red Rabbit. Chapter 15 []

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 )

          You think he made it up? This has been an intelligence maxim for far longer than Clancy has been an author.

      • People disagree [] with their government's policies/behavior in many parts of the world violently, because violence is used against them.

  • "Acknowledges" ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Angostura ( 703910 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @05:56AM (#33857600)

    ... seems a rather odd word for a news source to use in this context. I probably would have gone with "claims" unless the Washington Post has concrete sources saying that such espionage has occurred.

    • The WaPo has a lot of ties to the establishment. It's almost certain that they have off-the-record knowledge of the extent of American (and probably other countries') espionage against Iran.
  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @06:27AM (#33857702) Homepage

    "Iran Acknowledges Espionage At Nuclear Facilities"

    From the headline, I thought Iran had admitted to espionage at foreign nuclear facilities which would have been more newsworthy.

  • But the Iranians insist the nuclear facilities are for research and civil uses. It is against islam to create nuclear weapons!

    So why the secrecy? Why not be open about everything and build some trust?

    • Theoretically you might want to keep something secret just because it's commercially valuable. I suspect they are more interested in the bomb-making side of things, though.
      • I think if anyone wanted to spy on someone for copying commercially viable nuclear power plant technology, they would be spying on the French, not Iranians.

  • I'm curious about what nuclear innovations the U.S are concerned about gathering intelligence about in Iran's Nuclear program. The likely basis for Iranian Nuclear technology is Russian, but considering the isolation by the global community, Iran's determination to have a nuclear program and the threat of military intervention the pressure on the engineers must be enormous.

    Despite Iran's questionable human rights record, when it comes to science and technology we should not discount Iran's achievements. Ma

    • More likely the US cares if they are doing things which have more of a weapons angle than a power angle.

      • by MrKaos ( 858439 )

        More likely the US cares if they are doing things which have more of a weapons angle than a power angle.

        What do you mean *if*. There is very little doubt that this *is* what is occurring and as the old adage says "necessity is the mother of invention".

        • Because after Iraq the US would probably prefer to have a little more evidence than "we think" and "it's obvious".

          • by khallow ( 566160 )

            Because after Iraq the US would probably prefer to have a little more evidence than "we think" and "it's obvious".

            In international espionage, you routinely don't get what you want here. The first clear indication that Iran is trying to get nuclear weapons will be when they actually set one off. They'll make that public.

            • You still try.

              • by khallow ( 566160 )

                You still try.

                And when you fail, then what? As far as we can tell, Iran is building a nuclear bomb. They have the infrastructure in place including several parts that have been deeply buried at great expense. Sure, the interpretation could be wrong, but this isn't a court of law.

                • Depends. The simplest option would be to let Israel take the heat. But there a are good reasons I'm not in the military/espionage business.

                  The best option would have been to not have blown the load on Iraq when it was obviously the wrong place and hence be able to take more risks this time, but I also don't have a time machine.

    • In terms of technology, no the US has nothing to gain. The latest and greatest in reactor technology is something the US has access to. Some of it was developed there, some developed in the EU, and so on. Nearly all of it is related to making better power generation stations, and as such isn't the sort of thing countries need to keep a tight lid on. The US could have the very latest in reactor tech if they wanted, it is politics that prevent new reactors from being built, not lack of tech.

      The concern is tha

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by murdocj ( 543661 )

      The US isn't interested in technical innovations. They're interested in just how close Iran is to building a nuclear weapon.

    • And if they have a nuclear reactor underground, then we will be sure to give them our best.

      As to Iran coming up with an innovative design, that WOULD be amazing.
  • by jmac_the_man ( 1612215 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @08:05AM (#33857996)
    With all the spying the government does on Americans [], they'd damn well better be spying on our enemies. Isn't this EXACTLY what the CIA and friends are for?
    • I would imagine that espionage is a common occurrence within any organization doing something even mildly interesting. I doubt there is a government anywhere that isn't worrying about both sides of the espionage equation. You'd be foolish not to.

  • by grandpa-geek ( 981017 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @08:56AM (#33858318)

    ... was the details of the PLC applications being targeted by the Stuxnet worm. Hmmmm.

  • by davev2.0 ( 1873518 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @09:39AM (#33858652)

    insisted increased security and worker privileges have put a stop to the spying.

    And, there are no homosexuals in Iran either.

  • by cosm ( 1072588 )
    espionage acknowledges you
  • If the Iranians claim the nuclear facilities are for peaceful purposes, then why is there espionage to pass secrets to the west...?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *
      The same reason it's illegal to pass secrets about U.S. reactors to Russia and other countries...because it could be used for sabotage.

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