Iran's Crises Unfolded  
IranCrises
 
Sunday 13 October 2019
HOME
FARSI
NEWS
ANALYSIS
INTERVIEW
POLITICS
SOCIAL
STATEMENTS
ECONOMY
SEARCH

Nuke

* Will Obama's 'Signal' Reach Iran?  News Report

* Obama's refusal to hold debate with Iran president, a defeat for US  News Report

* Iran Sees Regional Alliance To Counter NATO  News Report

* Iran Nuclear Talks In China Fall Short Of Agreement  News Report

* Iran top nuclear official to meet ElBaradei: IRNA  News Report

* How to derail 'imperial mobilization' and preempt the crossing of the Nuclear Rubicon  Zahir Ebrahim

* Iran 'to launch 2nd yellowcake plant'  News Report

* Maryam Rajavi: Iran regime expedites move towards the nuclear bomb  News Report

* Iran says installing 6,000 enrichment centrifuges  News Report

* Israel vs Arab Nuclear Programmes: A Comparative Study  Ghazala Yasmin

* Iran to boost nuclear capacity despite pressure  News Report

* US estimate: Iran froze nuclear weapons program in 2003  News Report

* Iran 'has halted nuclear weapons programme'  News Report

* US report plays down Iran threat  News Report

* 'Iran halted nuclear weapons programme in 2003'  News Report

* U.S. report says Iran halted nuclear weapons program in 2003  News Report

* Iran silent on nuclear ambitions  News Report

* U.S. report contradicts Bush on Iran nuclear program  News Report

* Iranian pushes nuclear talks back to beginning  News Report

* Russia raps Saudi atomic fuel proposal for Iran: RIA  News Report

* Iran's power struggle intensifies  Simon Tisdall

* Deputy Head of IAEA Due in Tehran on Monday  News Report

* U.N.'s Ban "very worried" on Iran's nuclear progress  News Report

* Iran, EU see further nuclear talks by end-Nov  News Report

* Iran's hawks winning nuclear policy argument  Edmund Blair

* Iran's hard-line nuclear reshuffle  News Report

* Nuclear issue still unresolved  News Report

* Iran leader invited to Moscow for talks  News Report

* Public clash over Iran N-issue  News Report

* U.S. accuses Iran of defiance, threatens further sanctions  News Report

* Irans Latest Nuclear Work Seen as Only Test - Scale  News Report

* UN agency confirms Iran is producing nuclear fuel  News Report

* Nuclear interest rising in Mideast  News Report

* Iran to work out a reply for EU package by August 22  News Report


Irans Latest Nuclear Work Seen as Only Test - Scale
[ News Report]  [2007-04-19 16:33:36]
[Source: NY Times 19 April 07]


VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran's launch of uranium enrichment in an underground bunker, defying the United Nations, is a test-scale operation not producing nuclear fuel in meaningful amounts, diplomats said on Thursday.

They said Iran remains well short of the ``industrial-scale'' capacity to refine uranium it announced on April 9.

Iran has been upping the ante in a standoff with the U.N. Security Council, which has demanded a halt to uranium enrichment over fears Tehran is seeking to build nuclear bombs.

Iran, the world's fourth largest oil exporter, says it wants the fuel for generating electricity and to allow it to export more of its valuable oil and gas.

Iran has doubled the number of operating centrifuges in recent weeks in its new Natanz plant. But it has not shown it can run them nonstop for extended periods, the key to enriching enough uranium for electricity or the core of an atom bomb.

A note by the International Atomic Energy Agency's chief inspector obtained by Reuters said Iran has begun feeding ``UF6'' uranium gas into centrifuges in the vast Natanz bunker.

Iran, brushing aside two sets of U.N. sanctions slapped on it since December, had started up more than 1,300 centrifuges in an accelerating campaign to lay a foundation for ``industrial scale'' enrichment involving more than 50,000, the note said.

But diplomats familiar with the IAEA's findings in Natanz characterized Iran's activity as test-scale.

``The current feeding is at a very, very low level, only to condition the new centrifuges. No enriched product is being made now,'' said a Vienna-based diplomat close to the IAEA.

Another diplomat accredited to the agency said: ``It's not productive activity. We understand that they are just doing stress tests on the cascades to see if they will run smoothly.''

PROGRESS NOT DECISIVE

Responding to the IAEA report, the U.S. warned on Wednesday that Iran could face further U.S. sanctions if it continued to defy the U.N.

The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a Washington think-tank that closely tracks Iran cautioned that Tehran's nuclear progress was not yet decisive.

``The quantity of UF6 (uranium feedstock) introduced at this time is small and the cascades are operating under low pressure, indicating that Iran is at an early stage of enrichment in the cascades,'' ISIS said in an email reacting to the IAEA note.

Iran aims to have 3,000 centrifuges running at Natanz by the end of May. That could be enough to refine uranium for one bomb within a year, if the machines ran for long periods.

But an above-ground, research facility at Natanz was dogged by glitches with a number of centrifuges overheating or exploding in experimental runs over the past year.

Centrifuges, tubular devices that are tricky to calibrate, spin at supersonic speed to refine fuel for power plants or, if it is enriched to high levels, nuclear explosives.

Many observers believe Iran is playing up its progress in the main underground plant for political reasons before it has genuinely mastered enrichment technology.

``Tehran is trying to say they can do it, crossing a certain threshold. It's more a political message than a technical achievement, to raise the price the big powers will have to pay in any future negotiations,'' said one senior diplomat.

The IAEA note said Tehran had agreed after months of haggling to allow ``a combination of unannounced inspections and containment and surveillance measures'' to improve transparency at Natanz. It urged Iran to honor the deal.





[Posted comments]

No press releases currently available



Iran's Crises  1998 - 2007   ©