Iran: We're Enriching Uranium Underground Hardline newspaper claims Fordo enrichment site now active By Mark Russell, Newser Staff Posted Jan 8, 2012 5:49 AM CST 7 comments Comments A 2010 photo of an Iranian uranium centrifuge. A hardline newspaper announced today that Iran was enriching uranium at a site protected from airstrikes. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File) (Newser) – Another day, another claim of nuclear advances from Iran: Just a week after saying it had produced its first nuclear fuel rod, Iran is now claiming via a semi-official newspaper that it has started enriching uranium at an underground site protected from possible airstrikes. The Kayhan daily says it has "received reports yesterday that shows Iran has begun uranium enrichment at the Fordo facility amid heightened foreign enemy threats." Iran's nuclear chief countered that the program will begin "soon," and the AP can't reconcile the conflicting reports. Iran is known to have a major uranium enrichment facility at Natanz, in central Iran, with nearly 8,000 centrifuges, operating since 2006. The centrifuges in Fordo, built next to a military complex, are reported to be more efficient and shielded from air attacks.