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

    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

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora