Sunday, September 27, 2009

Iran Agrees to Open New Nuke Site to UN Inspectors

"On the same day President Obama warned the Islamic Republic to cooperate after the discovery of a covert nuclear facility or face action by the world's nations, Iran's nuclear chief said his country will allow the U.N. nuclear agency to inspect its newly revealed, still unfinished uranium enrichment facility.

Ali Akbar Salehi didn't specify when inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency could visit the site, saying simply the timing will be worked out with the U.N. watchdog.

Iran's newly revealed site is said to be in the arid mountains near the holy city of Qom, inside a heavily guarded, underground facility.

The pilot plant will house 3,000 centrifuges that could soon produce nuclear fuel -- or the payload for atomic warheads. Salehi spoke on state TV Saturday.

He says Iran has "pre-empted a conspiracy" against Tehran by the U.S. and its allies by reporting the site voluntarily to the IAEA.

In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama said that evidence showing Iran building an underground plant to enrich uranium that could be used for an atomic bomb "continues a disturbing pattern of Iranian evasion" that jeopardizes global nonproliferation.

He urged Tehran once again to open the site to international inspectors, or face consequences. The chief option is tougher economic sanctions, but on Friday Obama and administration officials did not rule out military action."

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