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Iran Uses Fear of Covert Nuclear Sites to Deter Attack


Iran Uses Fear of Covert Nuclear Sites to Deter Attack
Analysis by Gareth Porter | IPS

WASHINGTON, Jan 10 (IPS) - The New York Times reported Tuesday that Iran had "quietly hidden an increasingly large part of its atomic complex" in a vast network of tunnels and bunkers buried in mountainsides.

The story continued a narrative begun last September, when a second Iranian uranium enrichment facility near Qom was reported to have been discovered by U.S. and Western intelligence. The premise of that narrative is that Iran wanted secret nuclear facilities in order to be able to make a nuclear weapon without being detected by the international community.

But all the evidence indicates that the real story is exactly the opposite: far from wanting to hide the existence of nuclear facilities from the outside world, Iran has wanted Western intelligence to conclude that it was putting some of its key nuclear facilities deep underground for more than three years.

The reason for that surprising conclusion is simple: Iran’s primary problem in regard to its nuclear programme has been how to deter a U.S. or Israeli attack on its nuclear sites. To do that, Iranian officials believed they needed to convince U.S. and Israeli military planners that they wouldn't be able to destroy some of Iran's nuclear sites and couldn't identify others. Read more.

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