A U.S. newspaper reports the Bush administration has been monitoring telephone conversations between Iranian diplomats and the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei.
The Washington Post quotes three officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, as saying the White House is looking for material to strengthen its argument that the 62-year-old Mr. ElBaradei should be retired.
There has been no comment from the White House, but as a rule the administration does not comment on intelligence matters.
The newspaper says some U.S. officials believe the phone intercepts may show Mr. ElBaradei has been soft on the Iranians, while others believe the transcripts show only standard diplomacy.
The Post quotes an IAEA spokesman as saying the U.N. agency "always assumed" eavesdropping occurs.