Wednesday, May 09, 2012

IAEA Inspector Killed in Car Crash in Iran

S. Korean National Was Traveling Near Arak Nuclear Site

An inspector from the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency, the IAEA, was killed in a car crash in Iran on Tuesday. The victim, a South Korean national, reportedly died when the car he was traveling in skidded and rolled over near a key nuclear facility, the Arak heavy water production plant. Another IAEA inspector, from Slovenia, was injured in the crash. He was expected to be released from hospital Wednesday.

The Washington Post's Joby Warrick reports:
The crash occurred at a sensitive time in the agency’s relations with the Iran, which is scheduled to meet with the United States and five other world powers later this month for a second round of talks on curbs to Iran’s nuclear program. The IAEA has been prodding Iran to account for past nuclear research that agency officials say appears related to the design and testing of nuclear warheads. Iran contends that its nuclear program is entirely peaceful.
Foreign Confidential™ analysts say the timing of the crash is likely to raise suspicions of foul play. Iran’s lack of cooperation with IAEA inspectors--a cat and mouse game that has gone on for many years--has fueled suspicions of a covert nuclear arms program at Arak and other sites. Arak is one of the most mysterious sites--some exerts believe it is secretly being used to make weapons-grade plutonium.