(JTA) — The head of Iran’s nuclear agency said that he provided false information to United Nations nuclear inspectors.
Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, who also serves as vice president of Iran, reportedly told the London-based Arabic newspaper al-Hayat that he lied to International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to protect his country’s nuclear program.
“Sometimes we provided false information since there was no other choice but to mislead other intelligence agencies; sometimes we made ourselves appear weak and at other times we reported issues that made us appear stronger than we really were," he said.
Abbasi-Davani said his subterfuge was "exposed" when inspectors asked him direct questions about the issues. He also said that the intelligence agencies of Western countries, specifically naming the British Secret Service, are spying on Iran’s nuclear program.
Iran claims that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but the West believes it is on the cusp of developing nuclear weapons. International sanctions have been levied against Iran in order to force the Islamic Republic to limit its nuclear program.
Iran has had an ongoing series of meetings with the Western powers about its nuclear program. On Tuesday, Abbasi-Davani met with IAEA head Yukiya Amano, who called on Iran to open all its nuclear sites for inspection.