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U.S. Official Casts Doubt On Iran Opposition Group’s Nuclear Claim

Alireza Jafarzadeh, the president of Strategic Policy Consulting, points to a monitor reportedly showing tunnels to a nuclear site during a press conference to present information on Iran’s new "major secret" nuclear site, Washington, D.C., on September 9 September 10, 2010

News agencies have quoted a U.S. official as casting doubt on claims by Iranian opposition members that their contacts have discovered a new secret nuclear site in Iran.

Alireza Jafarzadeh, a spokesman for the dissidents, told a press conference on September 9 in Washington that the site was intended as a facility to enrich uranium and was located underground in mountains about 120 kilometers west of the Iranian capital, Tehran.

Jafarzadeh described the facility as part a secret Iranian nuclear weapons program.

The information about the site is reported to have come from sources inside Iran affiliated with the exiled opposition groups the National Council of Resistance of Iran and the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran, which is considered a terrorist group by the U.S. government.
News agencies quoted a U.S. official as saying the U.S. had known about the facility for years and had no reason at the current time to believe it was being used for nuclear purposes.

The United States has led efforts to impose UN sanctions against Iran over the Islamic republic’s refusal to halt uranium-enrichment work, which could be diverted toward an atomic weapon.

compiled from agency reports

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