Iran Denies Hiding Nuclear Facilities

Iran (searchon Sunday denied it has hidden any nuclear facilities from the U.N. nuclear watchdog by shifting them to easier-to-conceal sites.

Last month, the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (searchrebuked Iran for failing to disclose certain aspects of its nuclear development under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

One Vienna-based diplomat cited intelligence from the United States and an unnamed country suggesting that within the past year, Iran had moved nuclear enrichment programs to smaller, easily hidden sites.

"There is no nuclear facility existing in Iran that we have hidden from the IAEA inspectors," Iranian Foreign Minister Hamid Reza Asefi (search) said at his weekly news conference.

Asefi said Iran kept its pledge to suspend uranium enrichment. Highly enriched uranium is needed to make nuclear weapons.

"Our policy is one of transparency with the IAEA," he said "We are committed to what we pledged." Iran has said its nuclear program is for generating electricity, not making weapons.

Asefi said Iran remains committed to its suspension of uranium enrichment and wants all outstanding issues with the IAEA to be resolved this week.

Mohammed ElBaradei (search), head of the IAEA, is to visit Iran on Tuesday.

The United States has been pushing the IAEA to declare Iran in breach of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which allows nuclear development only for peaceful purposes.

ElBaradei said last month that Iran has much to do before the IAEA can give Tehran's nuclear program a clean bill of health.

Last year IAEA inspectors found radioactive particles that had been enriched to weapons-grade level — higher than what Iran requires for fuel for a nuclear reactor. Iran said the particles had been found on contaminated imported equipment.