Iran nuclear site built 'in case of attack'

Iran's nuclear chief said yesterday that his country had built its newly revealed uranium enrichment facility inside a mountain and next to a military site to ensure continuity of its nuclear activities in case of an attack.

The Iranian Vice-President Ali Akbar Salehi, who also heads the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, took a hard line two days before the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany meet with Iran in Geneva.

He said Iran was willing to discuss its nuclear technology but would not give up its right to uranium enrichment. "We will never bargain over our sovereign right," Mr Salehi said. "But we won't shun speaking generally about nuclear technology." The revelation of the site has increased the pressure on Iran. Mr Salehi reiterated that Iran was in talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency to set a timetable "soon" for an inspection of the site near Qom.

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