CIA Gives Iran Formula for Nuclear Bomb
James Risen's new book "State of War" recounts a portion of a CIA operation code-named Merlin which is said to have occurred in February 2000.
The plan involved a Russian defector providing Tehran with a faulty blueprint for a nuclear bomb. The error was supposedly meant to derail the Iranian government's efforts in acquiring any nuclear capability.
According to The New York Daily News, the Russian engineer was given plans for a "firing set" for a Russian-designed bomb - the trigger for a chain reaction that Iran needed to build its own nukes.
As ordered, he got the documents to a high-ranking Iranian official visiting Tehran's mission to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.
But in a renegade act, he included a letter red-flagging the flaw in the instructions and offering to help Iran overcome it - for a price, the book says.