Diplomats: 'New' Qom nuclear facility 7 years old, possibly military

Diplomats New Qom nuc

Iran's recently revealed uranium enrichment facility is a highly fortified underground space that is a year away from completion after fitful construction that first started seven years ago, diplomats told The Associated Press on Thursday. The diplomats also said that a recent inspection of the facility near the holy city of Qom by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has reinforced suspicions that it could have been planned as part of a secret military nuclear program. Iran says it wants to enrich uranium only to the grade needed to produce nuclear fuel, but the West fears it could retool its program to churn out fissile warhead material. One of the diplomats - a senior official from a European nation - says the facility is too small to be able to house the tens of thousands of centrifuges needed for peaceful industrial nuclear enrichment but the right size for the few thousand advanced machines that could generate the amount of weapons grade uranium needed for a military nuclear program.