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Page added on October 25, 2013

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Iran Announces 34 New Nuke Sites

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Iran plans to build many new nuclear plants with atomic reactors along its coastlines with the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea, Iran’s top nuclear official announced on Thursday.

The announcement comes just a week after Western nuclear negotiators claimed that Iran was giving ground in talks aimed at ending Tehran’s contested enrichment program.

Iranian leaders, however, have remained defiant in the face of talks, announcing on Thursday that Tehran will build “enough atomic reactors to generate a total of 20,000 megawatts of electricity by 2020,” according to the country’s state-run Fars News Agency.

Top Iranian leaders and those involved with negotiations have also been quoted in the Persian language press as rejecting key details of the proposed nuclear deal.

Iran also announced that it was China’s largest oil supplier in the month of September.

“We are considering construction of power plants along the coasts of the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea as well as the Central parts of Iran, but priority is given to the Persian Gulf coasts because we want to pave the way for [the construction of] water desalination facilities to supply drinking water for the Southern provinces of Iran,” Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO),  said Tuesday Fars reported.

At least 34 sites have already been designated for future nuclear power plants, according to Fars.

Additionally, Salehi announced just two days after nuclear negotiations ended that Russia would help Iran build new nuclear power plants across the country, according to Persian language press reports.

Salehi also suggested that Iran’s top nuclear negotiators lack the authority to agree to a deal with the West.

The IAEO, he claimed, also plays a role in Iran’s nuclear decision-making and would instruct negotiating officials, according to a Farsi-language Fars article translated by the Open Source Center.

Around 13,000 people are involved in Iran’s nuclear sector, according to Salehi, who also revealed that Russia could soon begin construction on a second nuclear power plant in Iran.

“We had a meeting [with Russians] at the beginning of this week regarding the signing of a protocol on the construction of the next power plant,” Salehi told Fars in Persian last week. “Once this protocol is prepared, Russia will start the constructing of another power pant in Bushehr.”

The latest power plant models “have been designed and are ready to be constructed, and the foundation of the next power plant is prepared in Bushehr,” where the Russians are helping Iran run final tests on another soon to be completed nuke plant, Salehi said.

Russia has helped Iran quicken its nuclear pace, according to Salehi.

“We worked with the Russians and it is a good opportunity, because it expedites our work and is not aimed at diminishing political pressure,” he said.

Iran’s top nuclear negotiators have also been quoted in the Iranian press downplaying progress in talks.

Iranian deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi, who played a lead role in the negotiations, said that the Iranian side made “no commitment,” according to Iran’s conservative Tasnim News Agency.

Araqchi’s comments run against Western reports claiming substantive progress in the most recent round of negotiations.

Iran’s main goal is to preserve its nuclear enrichment program, according to Araqchi.

“The country’s proposal presented in the latest talks between Tehran and world powers was aimed at protecting Iranian rights to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes,” Tasnim reported this week.

“The defined goal is safeguarding Iran’s nuclear rights, both in terms of uranium enrichment and in [the] fuel production field,” Araqchi was quoted as saying.

Once the West is “assured” that Iran’s nuclear program is “peaceful,” the “sanctions would be totally lifted,” Araqchi claimed.

Iran reportedly presented to the West a “three-step plan” and promised to consider a proposal known as the “Additional Protocol,” which would make Iran subject to strict nuclear inspections, according to Tasnim.

Araqchi has also been telling Iranian lawmakers that the issue of Fordow, one of Iran’s top nuclear enrichment facilities, is not even on the negotiating agenda.

Araqchi reportedly told the West during talks that “Tehran would not stop uranium enrichment and that the closure of Fordow was not on the agenda of the Iranian negotiating team,” according to Iran’s Press TV.

Fordow has long been used by Iran to enrich uranium, the key element in a nuclear bomb. Iran has been producing 20 percent enriched uranium at the site for several months now, according to the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS).

ISIS announced in a report late Thursday that Iran would have the ability to create weapons grade uranium by mid-2014, though its ability to produce a working nuclear weapons could come much sooner.

Washington Free Beacon

5 Comments on "Iran Announces 34 New Nuke Sites"

  1. J-Gav on Fri, 25th Oct 2013 9:57 pm 

    There is an element of one-upmanship in the Iranian stance on nuclear power. “Since you did it, we have the right” etc etc. Yes, in fact, they DO have the right (and I fully understand how pissed off they are with Western hypocrisy) but is that a valid reason to let themselves in for what Japan is now going through – and which could involve much more widespread effects? The Mullahs really ought to think this through a bit more carefully. If there’s fertile ground for useful solar deployment, Iran is certainly among the leading candidates … once the embargoes are lifted …

  2. RICHARD RALPH ROEHL on Fri, 25th Oct 2013 11:20 pm 

    They’ll rethink nuclear fission technologies after Fukushima happens there. Millions of Iranians are doomed to suffer horrifying cancers and other terrible maladies in the coming years.

    Praise Allah?

  3. Jimmy on Fri, 25th Oct 2013 11:32 pm 

    Iran needs cheap energy like the rest of us. Whether they are misguided or not in trying to achieve this is debatable. Iran has had nuclear power plant plans on the books since the early 70’s when the Shah was in power and the future decline of their oil production was presented to them i.e. they observed peak oil happening to others.

    I’ve always been rather surprised that the USA would prefer friendship with Saudi absolute monarchs over Iranian republicans, Islamic republicans but still better than Bronze Age kings. Of course it was never about values. It was about resources. Iran has some great art films and a very modern culture scene as well as a very large number of female directors producing independent films. Once the financial oligarchs in gone USA stop painting the Iranians as evil we might find they are some interesting people,

  4. BillT on Sat, 26th Oct 2013 3:01 am 

    Persia is an old country. Call it what you will, like China, they have a long history to support them and their people. Ditto for Egypt. America is a newcomer and will be long forgotten in the coming centuries, other than a footnote … if there is anyone left to care. We will be known as the petro nation that came and went in the Age of Oil. A waring nation that had it all and wasted it.

  5. DC on Sat, 26th Oct 2013 7:18 am 

    34 Nuke sites….sounds suitably sinister does it not?

    Here try this one on, see it sounds

    War-like Nation Plans Hundreds of Nuclear sites. Most dedicated to War announces White House.

    Iran should not pursue nuclear power, but not for any of the reasons the liar and puppet in the white house says. But that is a separate issue. They can ask the people of Ukraine, or Fukushima if they think nuclear was a good investment.

    But it is not for the war-mongers that congregate in Washington to decide.

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