Iran Informs IAEA of Clandestine Enrichment Site
Friday, Sept. 25, 2009
U.S. President Barack Obama, right, delivers a statement today on a newly disclosed Iranian enrichment facility. He is accompanied by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, center, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy (Jim Watson/Getty Images).
Iran informed the International Atomic Energy Agency this week that it is constructing an underground uranium enrichment "pilot plant" at a site roughly 100 miles southwest of Tehran, the U.N. organization confirmed today (see GSN, Sept. 24).
The existence of the Qum enrichment site -- also confirmed to Iranian state media by an "informed source" -- is certain to heighten international suspicions that Iran's uranium enrichment program is intended to generate nuclear-weapon material.
In a Monday letter to the U.N. nuclear watchdog, Iran billed the facility as a research site that would only produce low-enriched uranium on an experimental basis, IAEA spokesman Marc Vidricaire said, according to Reuters.
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