British officials admitted that the country was Niger but insisted that the intelligence behind it was genuine and had nothing to do with the fake documents. It was convincing and they were sticking with it, the officials said.
They dismissed a report from a former US diplomat who was sent to Niger to investigate the claims and rejected them. "He seems to have asked a few people if it was true and when they said 'no' he accepted it all," one official said. "We see no reason at all to change our assessment."
The fake documents were not behind that assessment and were not seen by MI6 until after they were denounced by the IAEA. If MI6 had seen them earlier, it would have immediately advised the Americans that they were fakes.
As mentioned here quite some time ago, the French appear to have been involved in the bogus documents. Now why would they have a hand in that?