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Iran has secret nuclear facility: Obama

world Updated: Sep 25, 2009 19:48 IST
President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama and the leaders of France and Britain will demand on Friday that Iran open to international inspectors a secret nuclear facility it has tried to hide from the world for years, a senior White House official said.

The three leaders -- Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy -- will open the G-20 economic summit with their demand that Tehran allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect the facility for producing nuclear fuel, officials told The Associated Press.

Iran has kept the facility, 160 kilometers southwest of Tehran, hidden from weapons inspectors, but the US has long known of its existence, the official said. Obama decided to go public with the revelation after Iran learned that Western intelligence agencies were aware of the project.

The officials spoke on grounds of anonymity because Obama's announcement was still pending.

Meanwhile, a diplomat in Vienna and another European government official told The Associated Press today that Tehran has informed the IAEA of a previously undeclared uranium enriching facility.

The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the information was confidential, said Iran revealed its existence in a letter sent Monday to Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the atomic energy agency.

Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, made no mention of the facility this week while attending the UN General Assembly in New York, but said that his country had fully cooperated with international nuclear inspectors.

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