Gary Sick sees it as part of the Obama adminstration's bringing the press along as they try to remain agile in dealing with Iran. I'll go a little further and suggest that it's very subtle payback to Israel, or perhaps a warning against attacking Iran.
Sick also observes that the Mojahedin-e Khalq, through the National Council of Resistance of Iran, comes out of the story looking good. NCRI has provided information on hidden Iranian nuclear sites since at least 2002. But these sites have not been unknown to intelligence specialists through overhead photos. So I'm wondering about this discrepancy reported by the Times:
“We followed whatever they came up with,” Mohamed ElBaradei, the recently departed head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said of the council in an interview. “And a lot of it was bogus.”Pabian must know about the record that ElBaradei is talking about. Quite a difference in interpretation.
Frank Pabian, a senior adviser on nuclear nonproliferation at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, strongly disagreed. “They’re right 90 percent of the time,” he said of the council’s disclosures about Iran’s clandestine sites. “That doesn’t mean they’re perfect, but 90 percent is a pretty good record.”