Hawks Sound Alarm as IAEA Reported to Discover ‘Radioactive Traces’ in Iran

Russian envoy dismisses unimportant finding

On Friday, the Wall Street Journal broke a story quoting unnamed diplomats who say that the IAEA found “radioactive traces” in Iran during its recent visits to two sites that they had to negotiate access to.

The Journal article offers very little detail, almost impossibly so, with the diplomats unsure what was found, where, etc beyond some very vague allegations. They still took this as possible evidence of secret nuclear activities at some point in the past.

The Israeli media dutifully took it and ran with it, and despite having no additional sources but the original article, declared it “evidence of possible nuclear weapons work.” That’s the worst-case scenario for superficial rumors from unidentified people, which is Israel’s take on everything Iran-themed.

That’s not the take of everybody, of course. Russian envoy Mikhail Ulyanov asked “who cares about traces of radioactive material left 20 years ago when Iran upon its own initiative stopped some experiments.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.