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    Iran put nuclear site near base in case of attack

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    Iran put nuclear site near base in case of attack Empty Iran put nuclear site near base in case of attack

    Post by Coolname007 on Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:49 pm

    Is this crazy or what...?
    You can definitely see some big things are fixing to happen (such as nuclear war). Squint

    TEHRAN, Iran – Iran's nuclear chief said Tuesday his country built its newly revealed uranium enrichment facility inside a mountain next to a military site to ensure continuity of its nuclear activities in case of an attack — an unusually detailed disclosure that may be intended to defuse international pressure.

    But Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi, who also heads the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, took a hard line over the country's nuclear rights two days before the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany meet with Iran in Geneva.

    He said Iran is willing to have a general discussion about nuclear technology in Geneva but will not give up its right to uranium enrichment and conversion.

    "We will never bargain over our sovereign right," said Salehi.

    The revelations of the site that had been secretly under construction brought increased international pressure on Iran to come clean on its nuclear program, which the U.S. and others suspect is aimed at producing atomic bombs.

    Salehi reiterated that Iran is in talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency to set a timetable "soon" for an inspection of the site near the holy city of Qom. But he said the country did not feel bound by a U.S. demand to allow the inspection within a month.

    "We are working out the timetable," said Salehi. "It could be sooner than a month or later."

    He said the nuclear facility is next to a military compound of the Revolutionary Guard, Iran's most powerful military force, equipped with an air defense system. Salehi also said President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told him Tuesday he named the enrichment plant "Meshkat," which means Lantern.

    "This site is at the base of a mountain and was selected on purpose in a place that would be protected against aerial attack. That's why the site was chosen adjacent to a military site," Salehi told a news conference. "It was intended to safeguard our nuclear facilities and reduce the cost of active defense system. If we had chosen another site, we would have had to set up another aerial defense system."

    Details about the newly revealed site and the fact that Iran kept its construction secret have raised more suspicion among experts and Western governments that Iran's nuclear program is aimed at producing weapons — something Tehran has long denied. The U.S. and its allies have strongly condemned Iran over the site and demanded it immediately make a full disclosure on its nuclear activities or face harsher international sanctions.

    President Barack Obama's administration is planning to push for new sanctions against Iran, targeting its energy, financial and telecommunications sectors if it does not comply with international demands to come clean about its nuclear program, according to U.S. officials.

    Iran's decision to disclose details about its hidden nuclear site and allow the IAEA to inspect it could be an attempt to defuse international anger that the U.S. could harness in pushing through stronger sanctions.

    Iran also seemed to offer the U.S. a conciliatory gesture related to three Americans who were arrested by Iran for illegal entry in late July. U.S. officials said Tuesday that Iran has notified the Swiss government, which represents American interests in the country, that the Swiss can have access to the Americans.

    The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the diplomatic sensitivity of the matter.

    Israel has trumpeted the disclosure of the hidden facility as proof of its long-held assertion that Iran seeks to build nuclear weapons. Israel considers Iran's nuclear program a strategic threat and has not ruled out a pre-emptive military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.

    But some Israeli analysts believe the disclosure of the new nuclear facility could actually put off an Israeli strike because it increases the chances that the international community will impose harsher sanctions.

    "If there ever was a thought of going with a military option, it's been put off," said Ephraim Kam, the deputy director of Tel Aviv University's Institute of National Security Studies. "Iran was caught lying again, it's clearly moving toward becoming a nuclear power.

    "Now the Americans are better able to try to persuade the Europeans, and even the Russians, to go for tougher sanctions," he said.

    Israeli officials have been instructed not to comment on the newly revealed nuclear site or Iran's missile tests on Sunday and Monday.

    Hard-line Iranian lawmaker Mohammad Karami Rad threatened Tuesday that if the U.S. and its allies pressure Iran during the Geneva talks, Tehran may pull out of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency. Iranian officials have dismissed such calls in the past, saying the country will remain committed to its obligations.

    Salehi said the Qom facility was a "contingency" facility to make sure that Iran's nuclear activities won't stop even for a moment.

    "This is a contingency plant. It is one of pre-emptive measures aimed at protecting our nuclear technology and human work force. It is a small version of Natanz," he said. "This is to show that the Islamic Republic of Iran won't allow its nuclear activities stop under any circumstances even for a moment."

    Natanz is an industrial-scale enrichment plant in central Iran while the Qom facility, according to Salehi, is a semi-industrial facility."

    He gave the location of the site as about 60 miles (100 kilometers) south of capital Tehran on the road leading to Qom. That is about 20 miles (30 kilometers) north of Qom. He dismissed a statement by Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman on Monday that the facility was near the village of Fordo, which is about 30 miles south of Qom.

    A satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe and GeoEye shows a well-fortified facility built into a mountain about 20 miles northeast of Qom, with ventilation shafts and a nearby surface-to-air missile site, according to defense consultancy IHS Jane's, which did the analysis of the imagery. The image was taken in September. analyzed images from 2005 and January 2009 when the site was in an earlier phase of construction and believes the facility is not underground but was instead cut into a mountain. It is constructed of heavily reinforced concrete and is about the size of a football field — large enough to house 3,000 centrifuges used to refine uranium.

    Salehi said the site was selected after a careful study by the authorities. He said it was a formerly an ammunition depot before his agency took control of it a year ago and started construction that will eventually house a uranium enrichment plant.

    He said the only connection between the Qom nuclear facility and the Guard is the Guard would protect it against possible attacks. Salehi said Iran will officially inform the IAEA of details about the site at a later date.

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