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Iran inaugurates its first gas storage facility

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iranian state TV says the country has inaugurated its first natural gas storage facility.

The Saturday report says President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad opened the facility at Sarajeh outside the central Iranian holy city of Qom. It said that the site can now store 1.5 billion cubic meters (2 billion cubic yards)but will increase the capacity to 3.3 billion cubic meters (4.3 billion cubic yards) in a second phase of development.

The broadcast says some 7.3 million cubic meters of gas have already been stored there.

Iran is under Western oil and gas sanctions over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment. The U.S. and its allies accuse Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.