News / Middle East

Clinton: US Has No Problem with Iran's Bushehr Nuclear Reactor

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that the United States has no problem with Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor because the power plant's Russian uranium fuel will be returned after it is used. The Bushehr plant, which has been under construction for many years, is now being loaded with fuel.  

Despite their concerns about what they say is an Iranian nuclear weapons drive, U.S. officials say they do not see a proliferation threat from the Bushehr plant, which will be under international safeguards.

Construction of the Bushehr plant on the Persian Gulf was begun by German builders before Iran's Islamic Revolution. Russian contractors undertook to complete the project several years ago.

Under that arrangement, Russia is providing the enriched uranium fuel for the reactor. Iran is to return the spent fuel rods for reprocessing in Russia under international safeguards.

U.S. officials call the scenario a "model" for Iranian civil nuclear energy that does not pose a weapons risk.

At a New York meeting with Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindeleggar, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Iran's civil nuclear power program, and its presumed quest for nuclear weapons through a largely-concealed enrichment effort, are two different things.

"What they are doing is starting a reactor that is, based on everything we know about it and everything that the Russians have informed us about it since they have worked with the Iranians over many years to build this reactor, strictly for peaceful purposes.  Our problem is not with their reactor at Bushehr.  Our problem is with their facilities at places like Natanz, and their secret facility at Qom and other places where we believe they are conducting their weapons program," she said.

The Austrian foreign minister, whose country is host to the International Atomic Energy Agency, said international contacts with Iran over its nuclear program are at a "sensitive moment."  He said Tehran might be ready to return to negotiations.

Clinton said she is hopeful that the negotiating process between Iran and the five permanent U.N. Security Council countries and Germany, the P5+1, can resume soon.

U.S. officials say U.N. and unilateral sanctions aimed at forcing Iran back to the bargaining table are being felt in Tehran and that Iranian authorities have had some contacts with European Union Foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton about new talks, but made no commitments.  

Iranian officials invited media coverage of the start of the fueling process at Bushehr on Tuesday. They said the loading could take another two or three months and that the plant probably will not go online until February.

Although not objecting to the Bushehr plant in principle, some U.S. officials have expressed concern that operating the reactor might give Iranian technicians know-how applicable to a weapons program.

Iran insists that its nuclear program is peaceful.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid