Iran Nuclear NewsIran denies building new nuclear site

Iran denies building new nuclear site

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AFP: Iran denied on Friday claims by the country’s main opposition group that it is building a new bomb-proof underground site for developing nuclear weapons, linked by tunnel to an existing complex at Natanz. TEHRAN (AFP) – Iran denied on Friday claims by the country’s main opposition group that it is building a new bomb-proof underground site for developing nuclear weapons, linked by tunnel to an existing complex at Natanz.

Ali Larijani, “the chief for international relations of the Supreme National Security Council, denies the existence of a secret nuclear site in Iran,” according to a statement by Larijani deputy Javad Vaidi read on national television.

“These baseless and erroneous accusations are aimed at destroying the positive climate … created by Iran’s cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the president’s trip to New York,” the statement said, referring to Iranian chief of state Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

They are also aimed at unsettling matters ahead of talks Friday among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, along with Germany, on possible further UN sanctions over Teheran’s refusing to stop enriching uranium, he said.

On Thursday, Mehdi Abrichamtchi, of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said “information we have from inside the regime indicates that the site is destined for military nuclear activity, mainly for the further enrichment of uranium.”

Located in central Iran, it 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, five kilometers (three miles) away, he told a press conference in Paris.

“The site is protected against aerial attack. If Natanz is bombed, it won’t be touched,” Abrichamtchi said. “To maintain secrecy, the area has been declared a military zone and the regime has bought up all the local land.”

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 (ISIS) reported satellite evidence showing Iran was building a “tunnel facility near the Natanz uranium enrichment complex.”

In 2002, the NCRI was the first to reveal the existence of secret nuclear facilities at Natanz and Arak. Its new allegations come at a time of growing international tension over Iran’s nuclear programme.

The NCRI is the political arm of the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, which has been declared a terrorist organisation in the EU and the United States.

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