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White House: Fordow explosion reports ‘not credible’

JTA

January 29, 2013 | 10:57 am

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Jan. 15. Photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Jan. 15. Photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

The White House said reports of an explosion at an Iranian nuclear facility were not credible.

"We don't believe those are credible reports," spokesman Jay Carney said Monday afternoon. "We have no information that would confirm them and do not believe that those reports or that report is credible."

Reports in some Western media over the weekend said a major explosion had taken place at Fordow, a reinforced uranium enrichment plant near the holy city of Qom. Iranian officials denied the reports as propaganda.

Carney also said that Iran was resisting efforts to convene talks with major powers over making its nuclear program more transparent. Western intelligence agencies believe the program is aimed at obtaining a weapon.

He said the major powers had offered to meet Iranian officials in Istanbul this week, but Iran rebuffed the effort and negotiations were under way for a February meeting.

"But let’s be clear, negotiating over negotiations is not a tactic that produces positive results for Iran," he said. "It only results in more isolation and more pressure."

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