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Pay dirt: Digging, clues revealed Iranian site

WASHINGTON (AP) - Intelligence work sometimes means playing a hunch and it paid off as the U.S. tried to keep an eye on Iran's nuclear ambitions.

When Iran revealed the existence of its first secret uranium enrichment site, U.S. intelligence agencies figured it wouldn't be the last attempt to illicitly produce fuel that might one day power a nuclear warhead.

So the agencies started looking and hit pay dirt, pinpointing a second site hidden inside a mountain near Qom (kohm), a Shi'ite holy city.

A senior intelligence official says that among other information was spy satellite data revealing the digging of underground facilities.

An official says Iran's surprise disclosure of the site to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the nuclear watchdog, came when Tehran realized it had been found out.

The administration hopes to use the site as leverage to convince Iran to abandon its nuclear program.


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