News / Middle East

Senior Iran MP Says 20 Percent Uranium Enrichment Continuing

FILE - Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of the Iranian parliamentary committee for national security and foreign policy, attends a news conference at the Iranian embassy.
FILE - Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of the Iranian parliamentary committee for national security and foreign policy, attends a news conference at the Iranian embassy.
Reuters
Iran has not halted its most sensitive uranium enrichment work, a senior Iranian parliamentarian said, contradicting a statement by another lawmaker last week.
 
Diplomats accredited to the U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Friday they had no information to substantiate the report that Tehran had halted enrichment of uranium to 20 percent. Israel  also dismissed the original report as “irrelevant”.
 
Any halt of enrichment would be a big surprise, as Western experts believe Iran would want to use such activity as a bargaining chip to win relief from international sanctions.
 
An end to Iran's higher-grade enrichment of uranium is a key demand of world powers negotiating with Tehran over its disputed nuclear work. Enriching uranium to 20 percent is sensitive as it is a relatively short technical step to increase that to the 90 percent needed for making a nuclear weapon.
 
“Enrichment to 20 percent is continuing,” state news agency IRNA quoted Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of parliament's national security and foreign policy committee, as saying on Saturday.
 
His statement contradicted that of another senior lawmaker, Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, who had said Iran had stopped enriching uranium above 5 percent because it already had all the 20 percent enriched fuel it needs for a medical research reactor in Tehran.
 
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. Oct. 27, 2013.Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. Oct. 27, 2013.
x
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. Oct. 27, 2013.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. Oct. 27, 2013.
In Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the real debate should be about dismantling Iran's entire nuclear program.
 
“We are not impressed by the discourse around the issue of 20 percent enrichment. The Iranians are deliberately focusing the debate on this issue - it is irrelevant,” Netanyahu said in public remarks to his cabinet.
 
At the United Nations last year, Netanyahu focused on stockpiles of uranium enriched to 20 percent in drawing a red line on a cartoon bomb that set a threshold for possible Israeli military action against Iran.
 
But Netanyahu told the cabinet that technological advances in Iran in the past year, in the form of advanced centrifuges, enabled it to “leap above the barrier of 20 percent enrichment and go directly from 3.5 percent enrichment to (military-grade) 90 percent within weeks”.
 
Iran and six world powers, known as the P5+1, are engaged in negotiations to bring about a diplomatic resolution to the dispute, which has raised fears of a new conflict in the Middle East and brought punishing sanctions on Iran's energy, shipping, and banking sectors.
 
Their last meeting was held in October in Geneva, and another one is scheduled for November.
 
Netanyahu, whose country is widely believed to be the Middle East's only nuclear power, has cautioned against any premature lifting of sanctions in the new diplomatic engagement with Iran.
 
“Iran must be stripped of its enrichment capability and its heavy water plant,” said Netanyahu, who discussed Iran with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Rome on Wednesday.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid