Ahamadinejad: Iran not obliged to report to Obama
Striking back at US, Iranian president says, 'We must not inform Obama administration of every facility we have'. Islamic Republic's nuclear energy chief Salehi says, 'Activity of installations within framework of IAEA regulations'. China urges Iran to cooperate with nuclear watchdog, Russian spokeswoman says new developments 'disturbing'
"This does not mean we must inform Mr. Obama's administration of every facility that we have," he told Time magazine in an interview when asked about US President Barack Obama's charge on Friday that a nuclear fuel plant Iran disclosed this week had been built secretly.
Meanwhile, Iran's nuclear energy agency chief Ali Akbar Salehi said the activity of the enrichment plant under construction is within the framework of the UN nuclear agency's regulations.
Salehi said construction of the plant was to preserve the Islamic Republic's right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy, the ISNA news agency reported.
He said in a statement all necessary "defensive aspects" had been taken into consideration in building the plant, suggesting measures to protect it against military attack.
"In order to preserve its definite rights (in) the peaceful use of nuclear energy, Iran has taken a successful step and created a semi-industrial plant to enrich nuclear fuel," Salehi's statement said.
"The activity of these installations, which are under construction, is within the framework of the regulations of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency)," the statement said.
The disclosure of the plant caused a storm on Friday, with the leaders of France, Britain and the UK publicly condemning the Iranian move before the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh.
Russian news agencies are quoting President Dmitry Medvedev's spokeswoman as saying the revelation of a secret uranium-enrichment plant in Iran is disturbing. The reports add to indications that Russia could join Western nations in stepping up pressure on Iran.
ITAR-Tass quoted Natalya Timakova as saying Friday during the G-20 summit that Medvedev will make a statement about Iran's nuclear program. Timakova was quoted as saying the statement would take into account new developments that "cannot but disturb us."
China also urged Iran to cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog after Tehran's disclosure of the second uranium enrichment plant.
"We hope that Iran will cooperate with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) on this matter," a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said at the G-20 summit.
'Facility on military base'
US intelligence believes that the secret facility is in an underground tunnel complex on a military base controlled by the elite Revolutionary Guards.
The details were included in a document that Obama administration sent to US lawmakers.
Excerpts were provided to the Association Press by an official on condition of anonymity because the document, though unclassified, was confidential.
The document says the facility is "too small to be viable for the production of fuel for a nuclear power reactor, but may be well suited for a military purpose."
The location at the military base would also undermine Iran's claim that the program is for civilian purposes. US intelligence indicates that Iran was installing centrifuge equipment this year.