Iran said Saturday it will allow UN nuclear inspectors to examine its newly revealed, still unfinished uranium enrichment facility as world criticism mounted over the underground site that was developed secretly.
Map locates Qom, Iran where a second uranium-enrichment plant may exist.
The presence of a second uranium-enrichment site that could potentially produce material for a nuclear weapon has provided one of the strongest indications yet that Iran has something to hide — despite its repeated assertions that its program is only to generate power.
That impression was reinforced by a close aide to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who said the site will be operational "soon" and would pose a threat to those who oppose Iran.
"This new facility, God willing, will become operational soon and will blind the eyes of the enemies," Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani told the semi-official Fars news agency.
The existence of the secret site was first revealed by Western intelligence officials and diplomats on Friday. It is located in the arid mountains near the holy city of Qom, inside a heavily guarded, underground facility belonging to Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, according to a document sent by the Obama administration to lawmakers.
US President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy accused Iran on Friday of constructing a secret underground uranium enrichment facility and of hiding its existence from international inspectors for years.