News / Middle East

Iran says Work Has Begun on New Nuclear Enrichment Plant

Top Iranian adviser says locations for other facilities have also been chosen

TEXT SIZE - +

An advisor to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Tehran has begun work on a new uranium enrichment plant.

The timing of the announcement came a day after the close of a much-touted conference on nuclear disarmament in Tehran.

The advisor, Mojtaba Samareh-Hashemi, also said that locations for other facilities have been chosen.

Plans to build 10 new Iranian enrichment facilities were announced in November, amid doubts from Western observers that Tehran had the capabilities to fulfill those plans.  Tehran says it needs more highly enriched uranium for medical purposes.

Royal Military College of Canada Political Science Professor Houshang Hassan-yari says there have been several recent announcements about potential progress in Iran's nuclear program.

"If you look at what Mr. Salehi said about 10 days ago, in the heat of the fourth anniversary of nuclear progress in Iran, he mentioned a number of measures: one of them, for example, is that they are exploring a new uranium mine in the province of Yazd for enrichment.  The same kind of exploration is going on in Bandar Abbas in the south, and there they have a facility to create yellow cake to feed the Isfahan facilities.  They also are going to accelerate the facilities that were discovered last year in Qom for enrichment," Hassan-yari said.

He says Iran has shut down much of its independent press and blocked access to foreign news media.  For this reason, he says, such announcements, along with the weekend nuclear conference, "give a sense of importance to the government and show the Iranian public that Iran is not isolated."

Janes' Islamic Affairs analyst Alex Vatanka says the announcement about a new enrichment plant has more than domestic impact:

"I would not necessarily say that the timing here ties to domestic politics as much as it does to Iran's position on the international stage vis-à-vis the West and the United Nations.  I really think that what they [the Ahmadinejad government] are trying to underscore is that it has to be taken for granted that Iran can enrich uranium on its soil, regardless of what decisions are going to be made as part of finding a resolution to the nuclear standoff," Vatanka said.

Vatanka says he thinks Iranian leaders are miscalculating their strategy on nuclear enrichment because the problem is not simply about enriching uranium, but about "a lack of confidence with Iran's motivations in enriching that uranium."

Iran has repeatedly insisted it is enriching uranium for peaceful civilian purposes, but the West suspects that it is attempting to build nuclear weapons.

You May Like

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

Why Europe and the US may be "whistling past the graveyard?" More

Egyptian Court Jails 23 Pro-Morsi Supporters

Meanwhile, Egyptian officials say gunmen have killed two members of the country's security forces More

Pakistani Journalists Protest Shooting of Colleague

Hamid Mir, a host for private television channel Geo, was wounded after being shot three times Saturday, but is expected to survive 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid