Gareth Porter writes at IPS that the IAEA has been falling down on its duties to fairly investigate whether the "alleged studies" documents presented by the US to incriminate Iran are forgeries. If you remember, these "alleged studies" documents were supposedly obtained by the US from the so-called Laptop of Death, which supposedly show that IRan had a nuclear weapons program until 2003. Incidentally, the latest IAEA report stopped using the term "alleged studies" and instead uses the term "possible military dimensions" -- because they're trying to give more credibility to the documents.
Anyway, Porter writes:
The International Atomic Energy Agency says its present objective regarding Iran is to try to determine whether the intelligence documents purportedly showing a covert Iranian nuclear weapons program from 2001 to 2003 are authentic or not. The problem, according to its reports, is that Iran refuses to help clarify the issue.
But the IAEA has refused to acknowledge publicly significant evidence brought to its attention by Iran that the documents were fabricated, and it has made little, if any, effort to test the authenticity of the intelligence documents or to question officials of the governments holding them, IPS has learned.
The IAEA seems to be trying to downplay forgery issue, and is demanding that Iran respond to the "substance" of the claims made in the documents rather than acknowledge the questionable nature of the documents themselves:
[T]he IAEA has portrayed Iran as failing to respond adequately to the "substance" of the documents, asserting that it has focused only on their "style and format of presentation."
In fact, however, Iran has submitted serious evidence that the documents are fraudulent. Iran’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Vienna, Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh, told IPS in an interview he had pointed out to a team of IAEA officials in a meeting on the documents in Tehran in spring 2008 that none of the supposedly top-secret military documents had any security markings of any kind, and that purported letters from Defense Ministry officials lacked Iranian government seals.
The IAEA has never publicly acknowledged the problem of lack of security markings or official seals in the documents, omitting mention of the Iranian complaint on that issue from its reports. Its May 26, 2008, report said only that Iran had "stated, inter alia, that the documents were not complete and that their structure varied."
But as Porter points out, it was precisely the "style and format" of the forged "Uranium from Niger" documents that proved that they were fraudulent, so the IAEA is exercised a double standard by demanding that Iran respond to the "substance" of the allegations rather than the form and style of the documents.
The IAEA’s apparent lack of concern about the absence of security markings and seals on the documents contrasts sharply with the IAEA’s investigation of the Niger uranium documents cited by the George W. Bush administration as justification for invading Iraq in 2002-2003.
In the Niger case, the agency concluded that the documents were fabricated based on a comparison of the "form, format, contents, and signature" of the documents with other relevant correspondence, according to IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei’s March 7, 2003, statement to the UN Security Council.