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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid