Suspicions said mounting on Iran plant

WASHINGTON, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- U.S. and European officials are becoming convinced a newly revealed Iranian facility was meant to produce nuclear weapons, intelligence sources say.

Citing two unnamed former senior U.S. officials involved in high-level discussions about Iran, The Washington Post reported Saturday the site at Qom has altered previously accepted theories that Iran had given up efforts to enrich uranium in secret.


The sources said U.S. and European officials are reassessing a 2007 National Intelligence Estimate that concluded any secret uranium processing activities "probably were halted" by Tehran in 2003 and had not been restarted.

"Qom changed a lot of people's thinking, especially about the possibility of secret military enrichment" of uranium, one of the former officials told the Post. The newspaper intelligence officials have determined Iran planned to place only 3,000 centrifuges in the plant -- too few to furnish fuel for a civilian power plant but enough to produce weapons-grade material for three nuclear bombs per year.

U.N. nuclear inspectors will travel to the Qom plant Sunday for their first look at the facility, officials say.

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