Iran has flatly rejected claims that it is building two secret facilities for manufacturing nuclear weapons.
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi told state media in Tehran today (Saturday) that his country's nuclear efforts are -- in his words -- "totally transparent, clear and peaceful." Mr. Kharrazi also explained that Iran has no plans to build such weapons, and that the two facilities in question were intended to help meet the country's electricity needs.
The Iranian diplomat also dismissed U-S claims that Tehran had rejected requests from the International Atomic Energy Agency (I-A-E-A) to inspect the facilities. He said I-A-E-A officials will be formally invited to visit the facilities before the plants are brought online.
On Friday, U-S State Department spokesman Richard Boucher told reporters that commercial satellite images indicate that Iran is trying to camouflage a suspected uranium enrichment facility near (the central town of) Natanz by burying it.
Mr. Kharrazi dismissed the claim, saying there is no possibility of concealing such facilities.