Iran says to build 10 new uranium enrichment sites 2009-11-29 23:57:17   Print

    by Mehdi Bagheri

    TEHRAN, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Iran's government ordered the Atomic Energy Organization to build 10 new uranium enrichment sites in the country, the state IRIB TV reported.

    Under a government decree issued on Sunday, the Atomic Energy Organization will start the construction of five new uranium enrichment sites and will present its proposal for the locations of five others within two months, the report said.

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said at a cabinet session on Sunday that to produce 20,000 megawatt electricity, it is important to build 10 new nuclear enrichment sites at the scale of its main enrichment complex in the central city of Natanz.

    The country also needs 500,000 centrifuges to generate the electricity required, Ahmadinejad added, according to IRIB.

    Ahmadinejad defied the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA)'s call on Iran to implement the UN Security Council resolutions and to freeze the construction of its new nuclear enrichment site.

    He said "We are dealing with the whole world in a friendly manner, we are not joking with anybody and will not allow the rights of Iranians to be violated."

    IAEA board of governors passed a resolution during a meeting on Friday in Vienna, calling for the "full cooperation" of Iran to clarify all outstanding issues involving its nuclear program.

    It was reported that the resolution contained a strong call on Tehran to implement the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, as well as all the transparency measures the IAEA needed to restore confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program.

    It also required Iran to stop construction on the newly-disclosed Fordo uranium enrichment facility near the central Iranian city of Qom.

    On Sunday, Iran's Atomic Energy Organization chief Ali Akbar Salehi said on the sidelines of the government's meeting session that "the decision (of the government) is a strong response to the(recent) unfavorable move by five permanent members of UN Security Council plus Germany" and "10 new enrichment sites will be built."

    Earlier in the day, Iran's Majlis (Parliament) urged the government to develop plans to reduce cooperation with IAEA, the official IRNA news agency reported.

    In a statement issued on Sunday, the lawmakers asked the government to work out a plan to lower the level of future cooperation with the IAEA as a reaction to the hostile attitudes recently adopted by the six major powers against Iran, the report said.

    IRNA said the statement signed by 226 Parliament members described the resolution adopted by the IAEA as a "politically-motivated move short of a consensus."

    IAEA's Friday move was the first adoption of a resolution against Iran after one adopted in February 2006. The 35-member Board of Governors of IAEA passed the resolution with 25 voting for, three votes by Cuba, Venezuela and Malaysia voting against, six abstentions and one absence.

    Iran's Majlis statement also stressed that the political will of certain big powers, especially the United States and Britain, was the driving force behind the moves that resulted in deviation of Iran's nuclear dossier from its normal path.

    In a personal reaction to IAEA's resolution, Iran's Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani warned Sunday that Iran will make "serious revisions" in its policies towards cooperation with the IAEA if world powers continue the policy of "carrot and stick."

    "The United States and other members of the Group 5+1 should abandon the wrong assumption that continuing this old, hollow game(of "carrot and stick") will provide them new bargaining opportunities," Larijani was quoted as saying at the beginning of the Iranian Parliament's open session on Sunday morning.

    "If they don't stop the policy of 'carrot and stick,' Iran will adopt new policies towards cooperation with them and the agency," Larijani said.

    "The resolution (of IAEA) shows that they (world powers) are not seeking a dialogue to solve the (nuclear) issue, but are after a political swindle," he added.

    Despite the rising disputes between Tehran and six major powers, Iran's Atomic Energy Organization chief underlined on Sunday the country's commitments to the international regulations, saying "as we are committed to pursuing our rights, we are committed to international regulations," according to IRIB.

    In response to an IAEA-brokered draft deal proposal which called for shipping some 70 percent of Iran's low-enriched uranium abroad in exchange for fuel rods for research use, Iran has agreed to swap the fuel within its soil or otherwise to upgrade its low-enriched fuel itself.

    Iran is due to further discuss the production of the high-grade uranium of 20 percent purity on Wednesday, Ahmadinejad said on Sunday.

    Western powers suspected Iran of attempting to build nuclear weapons, but Tehran said its nuclear program was aimed at generating nuclear energy for civilian purposes.

Editor: Yan
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