The Australian: Iran is building a new bomb-proof underground site for developing nuclear weapons, linked by tunnel to its complex at Natanz, the main exiled Iranian opposition group said yesterday. The Australian
PARIS: Iran is building a new bomb-proof underground site for developing nuclear weapons, linked by tunnel to its complex at Natanz, the main exiled Iranian opposition group said yesterday.
“Information we have from inside the regime indicates the site is destined for military nuclear activity, mainly for the further enrichment of uranium,” Mehdi Abrichamtchi, of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, said in Paris.
The new site in central Iran consists of a “vast underground area beneath the Karkass mountains linked to the surface by two tunnels and connecting with a third tunnel” to the Natanz nuclear complex 5km away, Mr Abrichamtchi said.
“The site is protected against aerial attack. If Natanz is bombed, it won’t be touched,” he said. “To maintain secrecy, the area has been declared a military zone, and the regime has bought up all the local land.”
The NCRI is the political arm of the People’s Mujahideen of Iran, which has been declared a terrorist organisation by the US and the EU.
According to the NCRI, plans for the new complex were drawn up two years ago and it will be operational in six months.
In July, the US-based Institute for Science and International Security reported satellite evidence showing Iran was building a tunnel facility near the Natanz uranium enrichment complex.
“Such a tunnel facility inside a mountain would offer excellent protection from an aerial attack,” ISIS said. “This new facility would be ideal for safely storing nuclear items, including centrifuge manufacturing and assembly equipment, centrifuge components, natural uranium, and low enriched uranium.”
In 2002, the NCRI revealed secret nuclear facilities at the towns of Arak and Natanz. The group’s new allegations come at a time of rising international tension over Iran’s nuclear program.
The US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany meet in New York overnight to weigh tougher sanctions against the Islamic republic.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad courted left-wing Latin-American leaders yesterday, paying official visits to Bolivia and Venezuela. Mr Ahmadinejad said the two nations were united with Iran in a worldwide revolutionary movement.