IAEA Says Iran Installing New Nuclear Equipment, U.S. Says Such Step 'Provocative'

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Iran has begun installing next-generation equipment at one of its main nuclear plants, a new U.N. atomic agency report said Thursday, five days before talks with world powers, as the United States described such a step as “provocative.”

"On 6 February 2013, the Agency observed that Iran had started the installation of IR-2m centrifuges" at the Natanz plant, the International Atomic Energy Agency report said.

"This is the first time that centrifuges more advanced than the IR-1 have been installed" at the plant in central Iran, it said.

One official said that Iran intended to install around 3,000 of the new centrifuges at Natanz -- where around 12,500 of the older models are installed -- enabling it to speed up the enrichment of uranium.

This process is at the heart of the international community's concerns about Iran's nuclear program, since enriched uranium -- at high levels -- can be used in a nuclear weapon.

The quarterly report seen by Agence France Presse also said however that Iran has not started operating any new equipment at its Fordo plant.

Fordo is of more concern to the international community than Natanz, since Fordo is used to enrich uranium to fissile purities of 20 percent and Natanz mostly to five percent.

The ability to enrich to 20 percent is technically speaking considerably closer to 90 percent, the level needed for a nuclear weapon.

The new report said that Iran has so far produced 280 kilos (617 pounds) of 20-percent uranium, of which around 110 kilos have been diverted to fuel production.

Experts say that around 250 kilos are needed for one bomb, although creating a weapon requires several other steps and if Iran were to start further enriching to weapons-grade this would be detected by the IAEA.

Iran denies seeking atomic weapons but many in the international community suspect otherwise, and the U.N. Security Council has passed several resolutions calling on Iran to suspend all uranium enrichment.

The report came ahead of a new meeting between Iran and six world powers -- the U.S., China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany -- in Kazakhstan on February 26.

These talks between the P5+1 and Iran will be the first since June, when three rounds of meetings last year ended in stalemate in Moscow.

The six called on Iran to suspend all 20-percent enrichment, shut down Fordo and export its 20-percent stockpile.

But they stopped short of offering Tehran substantial relief from U.N. Security Council and unilateral Western sanctions that last year began to cause major economic problems for the Persian Gulf country.

Meanwhile, the United States warned Iran that the installation of next-generation centrifuges, as reported by the U.N. atomic agency, would be a "provocative step."

The installation "would be a further escalation and a continuing violation of Iran's obligations under the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions and IAEA board resolutions," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

"So it would mark yet another provocative step," she said.

Nuland, who said the report of new centrifuges were no surprise, urged Iran to consider "another path... the diplomatic path."

"They have an opportunity to come to those talks ready to be serious, ready to allay the international community's concerns, and we hope they take that opportunity," she said.

A Western diplomat said Wednesday that the P5+1 would come to the Almaty gathering with an offer containing "significant new elements".

Reports have said that the powers could ease sanctions on Iran's trade in gold and other precious metals.

Israel, the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear-armed state, has refused to rule out bombing Iran.

Parallel efforts by the IAEA dating back more than a year to press Iran to grant it access to sites, documents and scientists involved in what the agency suspects were past efforts to develop nuclear weapons remain stalled.

The new report said that "although the (IAEA) board has adopted two resolutions addressing the urgent need to resolve outstanding issues regarding the Iranian nuclear program, including those which need to be clarified to exclude the existence of possible military dimensions, it has not been possible to finalize the structured approach document or begin substantive work in this regard."

It added however that the Vienna-based IAEA's "commitment to continued dialogue is unwavering".

It said that Iran "has not fully implemented its binding obligations" and that this was "needed to establish international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program."

Comments 12
Thumb bigsami 21 February 2013, 22:39

lilfagless goes to the butcher and asks for salami. The butchers asks him how does he like it sliced...thin or thick. lilfaglee responds..."what are you talking about...slices? I want the WHOLE thing. Do you think my rear is a piggy bank?"

LolololLolololLolololLololol

Thumb bigsami 21 February 2013, 22:58

Seriously lilfaglee....aka fagblower ft....that's all you can come up with? Mustooooooool! I will say it once and again...Nabatieh’s village idiot!

Thumb bigsami 21 February 2013, 23:04

hey btw...lifaglee...couldn't you have put all FIVE posts in one or are you soooo frustrated that you don't have the capabilities of wrapping up a simple statement. LMAO.....seriously, majdoob!

Thumb chucknorris 21 February 2013, 23:20

zokaqui I know you got a date with ur bella "MORTADELA"

Thumb bigsami 22 February 2013, 00:43

"@ chucknorris dont used my lines"......don't 'used' my line? Where did that grammar come from lilfaglee? Hablee mustool from Nabatieh. Get real you retard. The more you try to desperately respond to posts....the deeper in turn you come out! HA reject!

Thumb bigsami 22 February 2013, 00:44

"@ chucknorris dont used my lines"......don't 'used' my line? Where did that grammar come from lilfaglee? Hablee mustool from Nabatieh. Get real you retard. The more you try to desperately respond to posts....the deeper from turd you come out! HA reject!

Go stutter elsewhere....

Thumb ziziyeklak 22 February 2013, 01:20

bigshami LOL that mistake the "d". it on purpose, just to make u feel superior , lifting ur self esteem. I've been slapping u so hard, u wr hospitalized, wz nervous crack down!

ur english , bet u learned it @ assir wahhabi jr high, saida!
yalla mortadela junkie

Missing gabby14 22 February 2013, 01:07

Let the US send weapons to the FSA in response. Be sure to include Hezz killer rockets.

Missing bigjohn 22 February 2013, 18:42

You think the USA gives a damn about the FSA? You see it is about Israel, Israel, Israel, and Israel.

Thumb music66 22 February 2013, 02:43

LOL you guys the subject is Iran. Lmao at your egos. Seriously though was reading about on the 3rd day of Dhu Al Hijjah of 1406 H (1986 AD), the Saudi customs in King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah has succeeded in failing an attempt to smugle 51 Kilograms of C4 high explosives which has been detained with Iranian Pilgrims whom came on the Iranian flight no.3169 from Asfahan. Shudder to think what other destructive things might come out of Iran or any other nation for that matter.

Thumb music66 22 February 2013, 02:58

And also was placed hiding it in pilgrims luggage with out their knowledge. Very scary reading about these riots that occurred. Read about it Juhayman Al Uteybi, and many more. what is happening also in the world right now Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya disturbing all over control, money, power, politics ,war. I feel so sorry for the planet we live in.

Missing bigjohn 22 February 2013, 18:39

Israel's ACTUAL nuclear weapons are not provocative? Israel's continued colonization and aggression is not "provocative"? US invasions, occupations, and thousand of nuclear weapons they hold are not provocative? You can tell the Arab collaborators among us.