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Iran Denies It Has Secret Nuclear Site


http://gdb.rferl.org/DB860265-60BB-419A-84EF-7982C1D88619_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/DB860265-60BB-419A-84EF-7982C1D88619_mw800_mh600.jpg 18 November 2004 -- A senior Iranian nuclear official, Hussein Musavian, denied today allegations by an exiled opposition group that Iran is operating a secret nuclear-weapon facility.

He said the site in question is unrelated to Iran's civil nuclear program. He said also that Iran has no undeclared nuclear activities.

An Iranian opposition group, the National Council for Resistance in Iran, charged on 16 November that Iran is secretly operating a military-related nuclear development site near Tehran. The group is the political arm of the Mujahedin Khalq, listed by the United States as a terrorist orgnization.

State Department spokesman Adam Ereli cautioned today that the United States is not in a position to evaluate the credibility of this information: "There have been reports, however -- similar reports in the past, however, which have proven to be -- which the IAEA has substantiated, which have proven to be true. Therefore, it is our hope that as the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] continues its investigation into Iran's nuclear program that it will take all credible information about Iran's nuclear activities into account, including these reports, and then investigate them seriously."

Secretary of State Colin Powell said today that the United States has information suggesting that Iran is working on technology to adapt its missiles to carry nuclear warheads. Powell, speaking to reporters during a trip to Latin America, did not give further details. Iranian state television has meanwhile reported that four people have been charged with spying on Iranian atomic sites.

The allegations were issued ahead of next week's 25 November meeting of the board of governors of the IAEA to discuss Iran's nuclear program. Iran denies it is secretly trying to make a nuclear weapon.

For more on this issue see Analysis: Has Iran Traded A 'Pearl' For A 'Bonbon'?

(AFP/Reuters)
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