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

N. Korea Sentences American to 6 Years Hard Labor

Matthew Miller's brief trial Sunday comes two weeks after 24-year old Miller and two other American detainees appealed to the US government to help free them More

Pakistan Rejects Afghan Criticism of 480-kilometer Border Trench

Military spokesman tells VOA the project is part of administrative and security measures taken to secure the mountainous border with Afghanistan More

Photogallery Typhoon Kalmaegi Makes Landfall in Philippines

Storm makes landfall late Sunday, cutting power and communications lines and forcing people to flee to higher ground 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.
Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interesti
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 12, 2014 8:35 PM
The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video Palestinians Turn to Rebuilding Gaza

After almost two months of conflict in Gaza, Palestinians are preparing to rebuild the isolated Mediterranean enclave with assistance from abroad. Meanwhile, an international human rights group has found that Israel likely violated international laws of war during some of its attacks on Gaza. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Middle Eastern Church Leaders Highlight Christians’ Plight

Patriarchs of Eastern Rite churches came to Washington this week to draw attention to the attacks against Christians in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. VOA’s religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid