Iran’s nuclear chief confirms that the newly-announced under-construction uranium enrichment facility will be in full compliance with the country’s treaty obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Iran declared the construction of a new small uranium enrichment facility to the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), on September 21.
“In line with the preservation and enjoyment of its obvious rights to the peaceful use of nuclear energy, in a new and successful step, the Islamic Republic of Iran has moved to construct a semi-industrial-scale plant for the enrichment of nuclear fuel,” the director of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization said in a statement on Friday, Mehr News Agency reported.
“At present, Iran is constructing this facility in compliance with of all aspects, including passive defense,” Ali-Akbar Salehi said. “As with Iran’s other nuclear facilities, the activities of the facility will be within the framework of the IAEA regulations.”
Iran’s announcement of the new plant has been seized upon by a number of Western leaders slamming the country of “deception” in its nuclear program.
The announcement comes as Western powers are pressuring Iran in the run-up to talks on October 1 between Iran and the P5+1 — the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.
The US and a number of its allies have accused Iran of seeking nuclear weapons, but Iran has repeatedly rejected the charges.
The Tehran government has stated that it seeks nuclear technology for electricity generation and has opened its facilities to inspection by the IAEA.
After years of intrusive inspection, the IAEA declares that it has found no evidence of a diversion of nuclear material from the civilian to military use.