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Viewing cable 09STATE100153, EXISTENCE OF A COVERT URANIUM ENRICHMENT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09STATE100153 2009-09-25 18:06 2010-11-28 18:06 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Secretary of State
UNCLASSIFIED   STATE   00100153 
O 251814Z SEP 09
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO ALL DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR POSTS COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI IMMEDIATE 9888
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 STATE 100153 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: IR KNNP MNUC PARM
SUBJECT: EXISTENCE OF A COVERT URANIUM ENRICHMENT 
FACILITY IN IRAN 
 
1.  (U) This is an action request.  Please see paragraph 
3 for action. 
 
2.  (SBU) BACKGROUND:  The United States is aware that 
Iran has been secretly building another enrichment 
facility, in addition to the one at Natanz.  Some other 
governments are also in possession of similar 
information.  The United States, France, and the United 
Kingdom briefed the IAEA on Thursday, 24 September on 
this facility.  The United States remains committed to a 
diplomatic resolution of international concerns with 
Iran's nuclear program.  These concerns are reinforced 
by the existence of this facility.  Immediate, 
unconditional cooperation by Iran with the IAEA is 
essential to address these concerns and to ensure that a 
diplomatic process has a chance to succeed. 
 
3.  (U) ACTION REQUEST:  Posts are requested to inform 
senior host government officials of the existence of a 
covert uranium enrichment facility in Iran using the 
points contained in paragraph 4.  Posts are NOT 
authorized to provide a copy of the points.  Washington 
understands that, in a previous iteration of this 
message, a non-paper was authorized.  If points have 
already been conveyed in writing, posts are instructed 
to request discretion on the part of host government 
interlocutors.  If asked about coincidental claims by an 
Iranian exile group of previously unknown nuclear 
weaponization sites, posts should convey the following, 
IC-cleared point: 
 
-- We do not believe that these other sites that you 
refer to are the Qom enrichment site.  There are many 
suspect sites, including these others, that we monitor. 
 
4.  (U) BEGIN TALKING POINTS: 
 
-- We have acquired substantial, specific information 
that Iran has been secretly building another enrichment 
facility ? in addition to Natanz. 
 
-- The facility is located near the city of Qom, Iran, 
and has been under construction for several years.  The 
facility is located in an underground tunnel complex on 
the grounds of an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps 
Base. 
 
-- Earlier this year, we developed information that gave 
us increased confidence that the facility was a uranium 
enrichment site. 
 
-- The site is under the management of the Atomic Energy 
Organization of Iran, but unknown to all but the most 
senior AEOI officials. 
 
-- The site is intended to hold approximately 3000 
centrifuges but we do not know what type of centrifuge 
Iran intends to employ there.  We assess an enrichment 
plant containing 3000 centrifuges is not adequate to 
produce regular fuel reloads for civilian nuclear power 
plants, which require a much larger number of 
centrifuges. 
 
-- Based on our understanding of the status of the 
facility, we assess that Iran will not be able to begin 
enriching uranium there before at least 2010.  Iran is 
continuing construction of support buildings at the 
facility.  Intelligence indicates that earlier this 
year, Iran was installing the infrastructure required 
for centrifuges. 
 
-- Iran may claim that this facility is for civilian 
nuclear fuel production.  The Iranian government 
continues to claim that it is not pursuing a nuclear 
weapon.  Yet this facility is too small to be viable for 
production of fuel for a nuclear power reactor.  It may 
be well-suited, however, for a military purpose. 
 
-- We are aware that some other governments are in 
possession of similar information. 
 
-- We learned this week that Iran has sent the IAEA a 
letter indicating that it is constructing a pilot fuel 
enrichment facility and that the "required 
infrastructure has been established." 
 
-- The letter provides no details and states that 
 
STATE 00100153  002 OF 002 
 
 
"further complementary information will be provided in 
an appropriate and due time." We assume this new 
enrichment facility is the facility that we and other 
governments have been tracking. 
 
-- We, the UK and France have briefed the IAEA on the 
information that they have so that they can fully 
investigate the facility.  The President, with his UK 
and French counterparts, plans to make an announcement 
Friday morning in Pittsburgh. 
 
-- We firmly believe that the existence of a new 
centrifuge facility in Iran constitutes a serious 
violation of Iran's international obligations. 
 
-- Iran was required to suspend all uranium enrichment- 
related activities in UN Security Council resolution 
1737.  This legally-binding requirement has been 
reaffirmed in three subsequent UNSC resolutions. 
 
-- When Iran decided to build this facility, it was 
obligated to declare this to the IAEA.  It failed to do 
so. 
 
-- What is clear is that Iran once again has engaged in 
a deceit of the international community.   The President 
made clear that we are serious about using diplomacy to 
find a negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear 
program, but in order to do so, Iran needs to be 
transparent and truthful. 
 
-- It is now time for Iran to prove to the international 
community that it is willing to play by the rules.   We 
urge your public support on this matter as we head into 
the October 1 meeting with Iran. 
 
-- It will particularly important that Iran understand 
that it must end the pattern of deception and once and 
for all commit itself to full transparency.   It is time 
for Iran to come clean on the questions about its 
weaponization studies and to implement the Additional 
Protocol. 
 
-- The Ministers of the P5+1 held a productive meeting 
on the margins of the UN General Assembly.  They stated 
their expectation that Iran will be prepared to take 
constructive steps when it meets with the P5+1 on 
October 1st.  In light of this new and troubling 
information, the burden is clearly on Iran to prove the 
exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program.  It 
is essential that Iran accept that the process in Geneva 
must be real an address their nuclear program.  We are 
prepared to engage in a real process but will not be a 
party to a phony one. 
 
-- We hope that we can count on your public support for 
holding Iran to its international obligations. 
 
END TALKING POINTS 
 
5.  (U) Posts are requested to report any substantive 
responses.  Richard Nephew (ISN/RA, 202-647-7680, 
NephewRM@state.sgov.gov) is the Department's POC for 
this cable. 
 
6.  (U) MINIMIZE CONSIDERED. 
CLINTON