Iran is moving its nuclear program into a mountain facility able to withstand air and missile strikes, the Telegraph reported Thursday, citing recent intelligence reports.
The report says Iran disclosed
the Fowrdow facility's location, inside a mountain near Qom, after Western intelligence sources reported of its existence.
Experts fear that Tehran's decision to begin moving some 3,000 centrifuges to Fowdrow could signal its final push for a nuclear weapon.
"We see Iran moving in the direction of becoming a nuclear weapons capable state," Olli Heinonen, a former head of UN nuclear inspections worldwide, told the Telegraph.
The International Atomic Energy Agency expressed concern over the move, though it had reported that no centrifuges had been moved to the facility by May 21.
The IAEA's May report said Iran was conducting tests involving materials that could only be explained by a desire to produce a nuclear warhead – specifically explosives and a ballistic missile cone.
But Iranian Foreign Minister Ali
Akbar Salehi continued to insist this week that Iran is not interested in nuclear weapons.
"Our Supreme Leader has explained that the production and use of atomic weapons is wrong, not only in terms of foreign policy but on religious grounds," he told a Vienna conference on nuclear power.
Tehran said earlier this month that it will triple 20% enriched uranium production in order to fuel a medical research facility.