Iran gives West nuclear ultimatum

Tehran threatens to produce own fuel if its conditions for a uranium deal are not met.

    Despite Mottaki's claim, Iran is not said to be able to turn low-enriched uranium to nuclear fuel [AFP]

     

    Tehran had already rejected a proposal by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to ship most of its low-enriched uranium to Russia and France for processing into fuel for the research reactor.

    However, even if Tehran started working on the fuel production immediately, it would probably take years before it can master the technology to turn uranium, enriched to the level of 20 per cent, into rods that make the fuel.

    Iran says it is ready for a fuel swap "in several stages," and, in late December, Mottaki said Iran was open to exchanging uranium on Turkish soil.

    Under pressure

    Earlier in December, Iran proposed to exchange 400kg of uranium on its Gulf island of Kish but the offer was dismissed by the US, with the IAEA already having ruled out swap on Iranian soil.

    World powers have been pushing for Iran to accept the  UN-brokered deal and are also mulling plans to impose fresh UN sanctions against Tehran after the country dismissed the year-end deadline.

    Iran is already under three sets of UN sanctions for refusing to abandon its sensitive programme of uranium enrichment, the process which produces nuclear fuel or, in highly extended form, the fissile core of an atomic bomb.

    The UN has demanded Iran suspend all enrichment, a demand Tehran refuses, saying it has a right to develop the technology under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

    Iran has also defiantly announced it intends to build 10 new uranium enrichment sites, drawing a forceful rebuke from the UN nuclear watchdog agency and warnings of the possibility of new UN sanctions.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.