By Mark Heinrich
VIENNA (Reuters) – The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog is concerned that Iran’s belated revelation of a new uranium enrichment site may mean it is hiding further nuclear activity, an agency report said Monday.
The report said Iran had told the International Atomic Energy Agency that it had begun building the plant within a bunker beneath a mountain near the holy city of Qom in 2007, but the IAEA had evidence the project had begun in 2002.
Iran reported its existence to the IAEA in September after, Western diplomats said at the time, learning that U.S., French and British spy services had discovered it.
IAEA inspectors admitted on October 26-27 to the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Site found construction well advanced. Iran told the Vienna-based agency it would be started up in 2011.
“The agency has indicated (to Iran) that its declaration of the new facility reduces the level of confidence in the absence of other nuclear facilities under construction and gives rise to questions about whether there were any other nuclear facilities not declared to the agency,” the report said.