Iran wants to greatly expand uranium enrichment

2014-07-10 09:22
IAEA inspectors and Iranian technicians disconnect the connections between the twin cascades for 20% uranium production at Natanz. (Kazem Ghane, AFP)

IAEA inspectors and Iranian technicians disconnect the connections between the twin cascades for 20% uranium production at Natanz. (Kazem Ghane, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Vienna - Iran said on Wednesday it wants to greatly expand its uranium enrichment programme despite Western fears that it could be used to make atomic arms.

The position outlined by Iranian nuclear agency head Ali Akbar Salehi appeared to be the most detailed yet of what Tehran wants at its closed-door negotiations with six world powers. It also highlighted the huge obstacles in the way of an agreement by a 20 July target date, since the world powers want Iran to reduce its enrichment programme.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Marzieh Afkham said "substantial differences" remained.

Depending on its level, enriched uranium can be used for reactor fuel or the core of a nuclear weapon. Iran says it does not want such arms.

It went into nuclear talks last year with more than 9 000 centrifuges enriching uranium and about 10 000 on standby. The US is ready to accept only a fraction of that number - or even less, if Tehran insists on newer machines with a higher output. And it wants the enrichment programme frozen at that low level for decades.

But Salehi told Iran's official IRNA news agency his country wants to expand the output of its enrichment programme over the next eight years to a level that would need about 190 000 current centrifuges. Salehi said Iran wanted to use 8 000 advanced models to achieve that goal.

He also said Iran can envisage re-engineering its underground Fordo site as an enrichment research and development facility; as an isotope production unit, a suggestion he said was made by Russia, or as a physics and space radiation laboratory.

The first two options are linked to enrichment. That's something the US has ruled out at Fordo, because it is dug into a mountain and impervious to air attacks in case it is used to make weapons.

Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany are also at the Vienna talks.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    iran  |  iran nuclear programme publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Habana believes in younger Boks
All Blacks ready for a 'hell of a battle'
Barnes to ref Boks, Wales clash
Brave Blossoms: 'Sport heroes of Japan'

Your incisive and innovative mind is on fire. You may be keen to explore new avenues that can help to inspire you. You more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.