Leaders accuse Iran of secret program
PITTSBURGH — President Barack Obama is preparing to accuse Iran of setting up a second site to create nuclear materials and of hiding the underground facility from the international community, a White House official said.
In a late addition to his schedule, Obama, who is in Pittsburgh for a meeting of the G-20 economic summit, set a press statement on the Iran matter for 8:30 this morning.
As Obama levels the nuclear charges at Iran today he is expected to be flanked by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The leaders are expected to call on Iran to open the facility to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Western intelligence services have known about the secret facility for years but kept quiet about it, even as the controversy built over Iran's nuclear ambitions, the New York Times reported.
On Monday, Iran sent a letter disclosing a new "pilot plant" to the IAEA, several news agencies reported. Experts suspect that Iran made the disclosure after learning that Western governments had discovered the existence underground plant.
The maneuvering over the new facility came just days before the U.S. and five other nations are set to open talks with Iran over its nuclear program, which Iranian officials claim is peaceful.
The White House would clearly hope the disclosure of the secret facility would back up Western claims that Iran is trying to build a bomb in secret.
The United States will take part in a meeting of diplomats with Iran on October 1 – a follow through to Obama’s pledge to meet with the Iranians after years when President George W. Bush would not. But Russia and China have long blocked sanctions or other punitive measures against Iran – one of their biggest business partners.
The U.S. was cheered this week at the United Nations when Russian President Dmitri Medvedev sounded open to sanctions for the first time – but the Chinese are still holding out against them.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0909/27579.html#ixzz0S7hKA0Vv