News / Middle East

UN Nuclear Agency Says Iran Expanded Nuclear Activity

A view of the Arak heavy-water project 190 km (120 miles) southwest of Tehran. (File)
A view of the Arak heavy-water project 190 km (120 miles) southwest of Tehran. (File)
VOA News
The International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran has taken a significant step toward building a reactor that Western experts say could provide a second path to producing material for a nuclear bomb.

In a quarterly report obtained by Western news agencies Wednesday, the U.N. nuclear agency said Iran has delivered the reactor vessel to the heavy water plant near the western city of Arak. It said the component has not yet been installed.

Western powers fear the Arak facility could provide Iran with plutonium for nuclear weapons if the reactor's spent fuel is reprocessed.

Iran insists its nuclear ambitions are peaceful. Iranian ambassador to the IAEA Ali Asghar Soltanieh said Wednesday the government is cooperating beyond its requirements under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

"After 10 years of the most robust inspections in the history of the IAEA no evidence of diversion of nuclear material or nuclear activities to prohibited purposes are found. And everything remains peaceful. This is, in fact, a very clear document to prove that all those allegations against Iran are forged and fabricated."

Iran has been denying IAEA inspectors access to nuclear facilities and documents the agency wants to see in order to address concerns about the possible military nature of Iran's nuclear program. In particular, Iran has repeatedly barred the IAEA from visiting the Parchin military site, insisting it is a standard military facility.

The two sides have increased the pace of negotiations since January of last year, but have yet to agree on a framework for addressing the agency's questions.

Iran has defied four rounds of U.N. Security Council sanctions demanding a suspension of uranium enrichment.

Western concerns have focused mostly on two facilities that enrich uranium, a process that can have peaceful and military uses.

Iran's underground Fordo plant has been enriching uranium to purities of 20 percent, a relatively small step away from the higher purity needed for a nuclear bomb.

The new IAEA report said enrichment work has stagnated at Fordo in the past three months. But it said Iran has accelerated enrichment at Natanz, with almost 700 advanced centrifuges installed in the facility by this month, compared to 180 in February.

The advanced equipment allows Iran to enrich uranium more quickly. Most uranium enrichment at Natanz is to the lower level of 5 percent purity, far short of weapons-grade.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More