WASHINGTON (CNN) — Top U.S. officials say the underground nuclear facility that Iran revealed last week is illegal and likely intended for military purposes.
“I think that certainly the intelligence people have no doubt that … this is an illicit nuclear facility, if only … because the Iranians kept it a secret,” Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in an interview broadcast Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“If they wanted it for peaceful nuclear purposes, there’s no reason to put it so deep underground, no reason to be deceptive about it, keep it a … secret for a protracted period of time,” Gates said.
In a separate interview broadcast Sunday on the CBS program “Face the Nation,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also called for the strongest possible sanctions if Iran can’t prove a peaceful intent for the newly disclosed facility and its entire nuclear program.
“It would have been disclosed if it were for peaceful purposes,” Clinton said, adding: “The Iranians keep insisting no, no, that’s for peaceful purposes. That’s fine. Prove it. Don’t assert it. Prove it.”