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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regreti
X
Zana Omer
March 28, 2015 1:19 AM
The Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

The Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Virginia Tavern Takes Patrons Back to Medieval Times

European martial arts are not widely practiced and are unknown by most people. A tavern in Old Town Alexandria, outside Washington, wants to change this by promoting these fighting techniques from medieval times. Through combining visual arts, martial arts and culinary arts, this tavern brings medieval history back to life. VOA's Yang Lin and Helen Wu report.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More