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Source: Iran acknowledges second nuclear facility


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Author Topic: Source: Iran acknowledges second nuclear facility  (Read 49 times)
Adrienne
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« on: September 25, 2009, 07:20:12 am »

Administration officials said the disclosure would make it easier to make the case for imposing sanctions if Iran blocks inspections or refuses to quit its nuclear program.

Iran is under three sets of U.N. Security Council sanctions for refusing to freeze enrichment at what had been its single known enrichment plant, which is being monitored by the IAEA.

The officials in Europe said Iran's letter contained no details about the location of the second facility, when – or if – it had started operations or the type and number of centrifuges it was running.

But one of the officials, who had access to a review of Western intelligence on the issue, said it was about 100 miles southwest of Tehran and was the site of 3,000 centrifuges that could be operational by next year.

Iranian semiofficial new agency ISNA on Friday confirmed reports on the country's second enrichment plant.

Iranian officials had previously acknowledged having only one plant – which is under IAEA monitoring – and had denied allegations of undeclared nuclear activities.

An August IAEA report said Iran had set up more than 8,000 centrifuges to produce enriched uranium at its underground facility outside the southern city of Natanz. The report said that only about 4,600 centrifuges were fully active.

Iran says it has the right to enrich uranium for a nationwide chain of nuclear reactors. But because enrichment can also produce weapons-grade uranium, the international community fears Tehran will make fissile material for nuclear warheads.

The revelation of a secret plant further hinders the chances of progress in scheduled Oct. 1 talks between Iran and six world powers.

___

Jahn contributed to this report from Vienna.
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