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1.09.2006
  US President Gave Blueprints For Nuclear Weapon to Iran
In a hairbrained scheme that was personally approved by then US President Bill Clinton, the CIA deliberately gave Iranian physicists blueprints for parts of a nuclear bomb that greatly helped Tehran advance its nuclear weapons development program.

The allegation, detailed in the new book "State of War," by New York Times reporter James Risen, comes as the Iranian nuclear crisis appears to be coming to a head, with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announcing last week that it will resume uranium enrichment on Monday.

Reports Risen: "It's not clear who originally came up with the idea, but the plan [to give Tehran nuclear blueprints] was first approved by Clinton."

Beginning in February 2000, the CIA recruited a Russian scientist who had supposedly defected to the US years earlier. His mission: Take the nuclear blueprints to Vienna to sell them - or simply give them - to the Iranian representatives for the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Dubbed "Operation Merlin," the plan was supposed to steer Iranian physicists off track by incorporating minor design flaws in the blueprints that would supposedly render the information worthless.

But in what may turn out to be one of the most treasonous foreign policy blunders of all time, Operation Merlin backfired when the Russian scientist hired to deliver the documents spotted the design flaws immediately, and offered to help Iran fix the problems to produce a succesful design for nuclear weapons.

Risen said the Clinton-approved plan ended up handing Tehran "one of the greatest engineering secrets in the world, providing the solution to one of the problems that separated nuclear powers such as the United States and Russia from rogue countries such as Iran that were desperate to join the nuclear club but had so far fallen short."

He noted that thanks to the bizarre operation, Iran could now "leapfrog one of the last remaining engineering hurdles blocking its path to a nuclear weapon."

Ironically, Risen's New York Times has declined to cover Mr. Clinton's Iranian nuclear debacle, concentrating instead on his book's dubious claims that the National Security Agency was first authorized to commence domestic wiretapping by President Bush. Ignoring public knowledge of the Clinton era snooping of such famous American Citizens as Aldrich Ames and Strom Thurmond, to push the agenda that all things Clinton are sacred.

Still, with Operation Merlin going so badly off track, "State of War's" revelations certainly warrant the kind of full blown congressional investigation now planned for the wiretap pseudo-scandal.

Risen's report could also have a serious implications for Sen. Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign. Mrs. Clinton has been sharply critical of President Bush's handling of the Iranian nuclear crisis, complaining that a nuclear-armed Tehran would be a much more serious threat to the U.S. than Iraq. Revealations that a nuclear-armed Tehran would be the fault of her husband would be bad for her planned presidential run.
 
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