News / Middle East

    UN Agency Sees No Big Change in Iran's Nuclear Work

    International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano talks to journalists after arriving at the Vienna International Airport in Schwechat, Nov. 12, 2013.
    International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano talks to journalists after arriving at the Vienna International Airport in Schwechat, Nov. 12, 2013.
    Reuters
    The head of the U.N. nuclear agency said on Wednesday he saw “no radical change” in Iran's nuclear program in the past three months, broadly covering the period since relative moderate Hassan Rouhani became president.
     
    Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told Reuters that the Islamic Republic was continuing its most sensitive nuclear activity, enrichment of uranium to a fissile concentration of 20 percent.
     
    But his comments suggested that Iran during the August-November period had also not sharply expanded its uranium enrichment work, which Tehran says is peaceful but the West fears could be used to develop nuclear weapons.
     
    In addition, Amano said Iran still had “quite a lot to do” in order to complete the Arak research reactor, a plant which is of deep concern to the West as it can produce plutonium, another potential atomic bomb fuel, once it is operating.
     
    The IAEA is expected to issue its next quarterly report on Iran - a document keenly scrutinized by Western governments - on Thursday or Friday this week. It will be the first that only covers developments after Rouhani took office.
     
    “I can say that enrichment activities are ongoing ... no radical change is reported to me,” Amano, a veteran Japanese diplomat, said in an interview in his office on the 28th floor of the IAEA's headquarters in Vienna.
     
    He spoke two days after Iran agreed to give his inspectors access to two nuclear-related facilities as part of a cooperation pact that aims to allay international concern about the country's nuclear program.
     
    Amano said the agreement was an important first step towards clarifying outstanding issues between the U.N. agency and Tehran, including suspicions that Iran has carried out atomic bomb research, a charge Tehran denies.
     
    Iran rejects Western accusations that it is seeking the capability to make nuclear weapons. But its refusal so far to curb its program and lack of full openness with U.N. anti-proliferation inspectors have drawn tough Western sanctions.
     
    Rouhani, a pragmatist, succeeded conservative hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in August promising to try to settle the decade-old nuclear dispute and secure an easing of sanctions that have severely hurt Iran's oil-dependent economy.
     
    No enrichment halt
     
    Iran and six world powers - the United States, France, Germany, Russia, Britain and China - edged close to a preliminary nuclear accord during negotiations at the weekend and decided to meet again there on Nov. 20.
     
    They want Iran to halt its most sensitive nuclear fuel-making work and take other measures as part of a confidence-building deal that would buy time for negotiations on a more far-reaching diplomatic settlement.
     
    A senior Iranian lawmaker last month said Iran had halted its 20 percent uranium enrichment - a move that would meet a main demand of the powers negotiating with Tehran - but another parliamentarian later contradicted that.
     
    Iran's enrichment of uranium to levels of 20 percent is controversial as it is a relatively short technical step to increase that to the 90 percent required for making a nuclear warhead. Iran says it needs the 20 percent material to fuel a medical research reactor in Tehran.
     
    Asked whether Iran was continuing the higher-grade enrichment work, Amano said: “That's right.”
     
    One the one hand, he said when asked about the Iranian nuclear program, “there has not been that big change. On the other hand, activities which are not allowed (under a series of U.N. Security Council resolutions calling on Iran to suspend all enrichment) are continuing”.
     
    Iran says it is refining uranium to fuel a planned network of nuclear power plants. But if enriched much further, uranium can also provide the core of a nuclear bomb.

    You May Like

    UN Observes International Day of Peacekeepers

    The U.N. honors 3,400 peacekeepers killed since first mission in 1948

    Video Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Dr. Fadlahlah from: Saudi Arabia
    November 13, 2013 5:51 PM
    this guy seems unlikely to see anything... let alone "radical change"; he wouldn't be able to recognize "radical change" if radical change jumped up and bit him on the A...

    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