News / Middle East

US Downplays Iran Announcement of Nuclear Advances

An aerial photo shows Iran's Uranium Conversion Facility, just outside the city of Isfahan, 410 kilometers south of the capital Tehran, Iran, in this Wednesday, March 30, 2005 photo.
An aerial photo shows Iran's Uranium Conversion Facility, just outside the city of Isfahan, 410 kilometers south of the capital Tehran, Iran, in this Wednesday, March 30, 2005 photo.
TEXT SIZE - +

The Obama administration is downplaying Wednesday's announcements by Iran that it has a new generation of centrifuges to speed up uranium enrichment and that it is producing nuclear fuel rods.  Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful, civilian purposes.  The United States says Tehran is trying to develop nuclear weapons.

Iranian state television broadcast images of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad watching what it said were 20 percent enriched uranium fuel rods being loaded into an aging reactor that produces nuclear isotopes.

Iran says the domestic production of fuel rods and new carbon fiber centrifuges are major advances in mastering the nuclear fuel cycle, despite U.N. sanction aimed at stopping the process.

U.S. State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the fuel rods appear to be intended for the Tehran Research Reactor, which remains under the safeguard of International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors.  She said that Wednesday's announcements in Tehran “were not terribly impressive.”

"This is not big news.  In fact, it seems to have been hyped.  The Iranians have for many months been putting out calendars of accomplishments.  And based on their own calendars, they are many, many months behind.  This [announcement] strikes us as calibrated mostly for a domestic audience," she said.

The United States and the European Union are trying to close markets for Iranian oil to deprive Tehran of revenue.  With the value of the country's currency falling, Nuland said Iran's leaders might be trying to highlight marginal accomplishments to boost domestic public opinion of the government. "Iran is clearly feeling the pressure of its international and diplomatic isolation, of the increasing economic pressure on it, unprecedented sanctions that are growing," she said.

Asked whether Washington is downplaying these events to defuse Israeli concerns about Iran's nuclear program, Nuland said “countries that follow the Iranian nuclear program carefully know precisely what this was and what this wasn't.”

The European Union on Wednesday said it has received Iran's reply to a letter sent nearly four months ago proposing a return to talks on its disputed nuclear program with Russia, China, France, Britain, the United States, and Germany.  Nuland said those countries are studying the response.  She did not say what the letter said.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid