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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid