IAEA says concerned over mounting Iranian nuke activity

Iran denies claims about top-secret site for uranium enrichment

Clinton says Iran morphing into military dictatorship

Fatah lambastes Iran’s Khamenei for meddling into Palestinian affairs

The latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency on Iranian nuclear activity is a clear sign of Tehran's failures, a joint European statement read.

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano in his latest report expressed "great regret" over a decision to Tehran to hamper the work of the inspection regime.

Iran is under pressure from the international community to provide more transparency in its nuclear program. Western allies say they believe Iran is working on the technology needed to make a nuclear weapon, while Tehran insists its intentions are peaceful.

A joint statement released Thursday by the British, French and German governments expressed concerns over what they see as Iran's refusal to comply with its international obligations.

"The report shows, yet again, that Iran is failing in its international obligations to the IAEA. It underlines that concerns about the Iranian nuclear program are justified," said British Foreign Secretary William Hague in his statement.

"Without meaningful engagement by Iran to address these issues international pressure on Iran will continue to intensify."

The joint statement expresses "regret" that Iran continues to thwart international sanctions by continuing its uranium enrichment activity, moving forward with construction of an enrichment plant and working at a "so-called research reactor" in the northeast of the country.

"We once again express our concern at Iran's possible military activities, both past and present, including studies on the development of a nuclear warhead for a missile," the statement read.

Iran's top atomic energy official had denied the existence of a major top-secret nuclear enrichment site near Tehran.

"We have no such installation where we enrich uranium," said Ali Akbar Salehi, who spoke to the semi-official Mehr News Agency on Friday.

Supporters of an Iranian opposition group announced Thursday that they have "exclusive" details on a major top-secret strategic nuclear enrichment site buried deep in a mountain northwest of Tehran. But U.S. government officials and nuclear experts are not convinced over the claim.

Alireza Jafarzadeh, speaking for the National Council of Resistance for Iran, said its members obtained the information from Iran's chief opposition group, the People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran, which was credited with exposing Iran's first nuclear site in Natanz in 2002. The PMOI is currently listed by the State Department as a designated terrorist organization.

"This has no peaceful intentions whatsoever," Jafarzadeh said at a news conference Thursday. This comes amid Western concerns that Iran intends to develop nuclear weapons.

Salehi said Friday that if they "really are aware of such an installation, perhaps they would like to tell us about it so that we can thank them."

"No such nuclear installation with a specific definition exists in Iran which has not been declared to the agency," he said, referring to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog.

"Facilities which are used for medical and agriculture purposes are not considered nuclear. There are many such facilities in Iran," Mehr quoted Salehi as saying.

But Jafarzadeh said the site is controlled and operated by the minister of defense, hidden from the International Atomic Energy Agency and the outside world.

According to another Mehr report, Iran also announced a development Saturday regarding its Bushehr plant. Salehi is quoted as saying that nuclear fuel will be loaded into the core of the Bushehr reactor at the beginning of the Iranian calendar month of Mehr, around September 23.

He said the plant then will be able to produce electricity in the Iranian calendar month of Azar, which is November 22 to December 21.

This comes after the plant was launched on August 21 when engineers loaded 163 fuel rods into the reactor under the supervision of the IAEA.

The plant will produce 1000 megawatts of electricity once all the fuel rods are loaded into the core of the reactor, the Mehr report said.

Citing a report from a nuclear group, Mehr reported that the Bushehr plant may save Iran 11 million barrels of crude oil or 1.8 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

Meanwhile, United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says Iran is morphing into a military dictatorship with a sort of religious, ideological veneer.

She made the comments while answering questions after a U.S. foreign policy speech at the Council on Foreign Relations on Wednesday.

Clinton said the Islamic Republic was becoming the province of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and was in concert with some of the clerical and political leadership. "And I don't think that's what the Iranian Revolution for a Republic of Iran, an Islamic Republic of Iran was ever meant to become," she added.

Clinton said early returns from implementation of the sanctions on Iran show that "they're feeling the economic effects."

She expressed the hope that being put under tremendous pressure would "lead them to reconsider their positions, not only with respect to nuclear weapons, but, the export of terrorism."

She said besides supporting Hezbollah and Hamas in trying to destabilize many countries in the region, Iran was providing support and funds for terrorist activities as far away as Argentina.

While stressing Washington's commitment to revive Six-Party talks on North Korea's nuclear disarmament, she said the U.S. government would try to convince whosoever in leadership in that country that "their future would be far better served by denuclearizing."

She described plans by an American non-denominational church to burn copies of the Holy Quran on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks as "outrageous, distressful, and disgraceful, and to get the world's attention."

She made it clear that it "doesn't, in any way, represent America, Americans, American Government, or American religious or political leadership."

On the other hand, the Fatah movement in Palestine has lambasted recent remarks by the Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, that were clearly intended to meddle in Palestinian affairs. The movement called on Palestinians to oppose the regime’s sinister intentions for hijacking their cause and ideals.

According to the Arab-language daily Asharq al-Awsat on Tuesday, Fatah released a statement in reaction to Khamenei’s remarks during a Friday prayer session recently criticizing Palestinian leaders for beginning peace talks with Israel.

According to Asharq al-Awsat, the statement describes Khamenei’s remarks “a banal and contemptible attempt to exploit the struggle of the Palestinian nation and its leadership, and a blatant interference in the internal affairs of the Palestinian people.”

“Khamenei’s statements reveal the Iranian regime’s long term aspirations to hijack the ideal of Palestine and our people’s sacrifices and subjugate them to the regional ambitions of the Iranian regime and its expansionist agenda,” the central committee of Fatah added in the statement.

“The regime of Khamenei and [mullahs’ President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad, which suppresses the brother nation of Iran with all its religious and ethnic diversity, has shameful and clear goals to sow the seeds of divisions among Palestinians and break apart the Arab world. The regime intends to engulf the region in an eternal cycle of internal conflict.”

Fatah added, “The Fatah movement emphasizes its firm opposition to the continuous attempts by the Khamenei-Ahmadinejad regime to exploit the Palestinian issue and the plight of its people as a card for compromising with the West, as a way to implement its regional agenda, and as an instrument to interfere in the domestic affairs of the Arab nations and to harm its unity and crucial interests.”

“Fatah considers it necessary to react to the statements of Khamenei and his shameful interference in the domestic affairs of Palestine as well as his insults against its legitimate leader, President Mahmoud Abbas. Meddling in the national and independent decisions of Palestine or trying to influence them constitutes a red line and neither the Iranian regime nor anyone else will not be allowed to encroach this line.”

“The Palestinian nation,” the statement added, “has struggled for the past five decades under the leadership of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Thousands of lives have been lost and thousands are imprisoned. Therefore, the dictates of the likes of Khamenei are hardly needed for our struggle and our national and independent decision. Palestinians will not allow this to happen.”

Last week, too, following the clerical regime’s meddling in Palestinian affairs and provocative remarks by Ahmadinejad, Palestinian President Abbas said the Iranian regime has absolutely no right to meddle in the affairs of Palestine.