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Iran denies building new nuclear site

world Updated: Sep 28, 2007 22:39 IST
Iran denies building new nuclear site

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 today among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, along with Germany, on possible further UN sanctions over Tehran's refusing to stop enriching uranium, he said.

Yesterday, 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 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.