Ahmadinejad: Obama Made 'Big Mistake' Over Nukes

Tehran didn't hide new facility, he insists
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 3, 2009 2:51 PM CDT
In this Sept. 25, 2009, photo, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad adjusts his earphones during a news conference in New York.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
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(Newser) – Iran's president hit back today at President Obama's accusation that his country had sought to hide construction of a new nuclear site, arguing that Tehran reported the facility to the UN even earlier than required. "The US president made a big and historic mistake," said Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. "Later it became clear that (his) information was wrong and that we had no secrecy."

Iran insists that international rules require a nation to inform the UN about the existence of a nuclear facility six months before it's operational. That puts them in the clear, they say, because the new site won't be ready for 18 months. The US and UN say Iran is bound by another protocol—Tehran disagrees—to announce when it's starting the design phase. Regardless, the head of the UN's nuclear monitoring agency arrived in Iran today to arrange an inspection of the Qom facility.