Iran on Saturday confirmed it was producing components to make centrifuges — the device which enriches uranium — at a factory which it said was not secret as claimed by an opposition group.

“The factory mentioned by Monafeghin (hypocrites) is not a new discovery,” state news agency IRNA quoted Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi as saying, and referring to the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran, the main armed opposition group fighting the Iranian regime.

“We manufacture components (in the factory), but it is in no way a secret,” Salehi said when asked about PMOI’s claim that Iran produces components for centrifuges used to enrich uranium.

On Thursday, PMOI spokesman in Washington Alireza Jafarzadeh claimed the Taba company site, west of Tehran, has been operating for four and a half years, citing information gathered by the group.

Taba, which in Persian stands for Iranian Cutting Tools Factory, produces “aluminium casing, magnets, molecular pumps, composite tubes, centrifuge bases,” the spokesman said.

Jafarzadeh said Iran’s capacity to build centrifuges, and the number operating in the country, was a critical question in determining the true intentions and goals of the Iranian nuclear programme.

But Salehi said there were “plenty of factories in the country that manufacture equipment needed by the Bushehr power plant and the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI).”

The major world powers accuse Iran of seeking to acquire a nuclear military capacity under the cover of its civilian atomic programme, a charge Tehran strongly denies.

Their main objection is to Iran’s uranium enrichment programme, which can produce either fuel for a nuclear reactor or the fissile material for an atomic warhead.

Tehran’s nuclear programme has been condemned in six UN Security Council resolutions which include four sets of economic and political sanctions, despite the fact that its enrichment activities are supervised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).