Printable Page Headline News   Return to Menu - Page 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 13
 
 
Construction on Iran Nuclear  12/03 07:13

   

   CAIRO (AP) -- Iran on Saturday began construction on a new nuclear power 
plant in the country's southwest, Iranian state TV announced, amid tensions 
with the U.S. over sweeping sanctions imposed after Washington pulled out of 
the Islamic Republic's nuclear deal with world powers.

   The announcement also comes as Iran has been rocked by nationwide 
anti-government protests that began after the death of a young woman in police 
custody and have challenged the country's theocratic government.

   The new 300-megawatt plant, known as Karoon, will take eight years to build 
and cost around $2 billion, the country's state television and radio agency 
reported. The plant will be located in Iran's oil-rich Khuzestan province, near 
its western border with Iraq, it said.

   The construction site's inauguration ceremony was attended by Mohammed 
Eslami, head of Iran's civilian Atomic Energy Organization, who first unveiled 
construction plans for Karoon in April.

   Iran has one nuclear power plant at its southern port of Bushehr that went 
online in 2011 with help from Russia, but also several underground nuclear 
facilities.

   The announcement of Karoon's construction came less than two weeks after 
Iran announced it had begun producing enriched uranium at 60% purity at the 
country's underground Fordo nuclear facility. The move is seen as a significant 
addition to the country's nuclear program.

   Enrichment to 60% purity is one short, technical step away from 
weapons-grade levels of 90%. Non-proliferation experts have warned in recent 
months that Iran now has enough 60%-enriched uranium to reprocess into fuel for 
at least one nuclear bomb.

   The move was condemned by Germany, France and Britain, the three Western 
European nations that remain in the Iran nuclear deal. Recent attempts to 
revive Iran's 2015 nuclear deal, which eased sanctions on Iran in exchange for 
curbs on its nuclear program, have stalled.

   Since September, Iran has been roiled by nationwide protests that have come 
to mark one of the greatest challenges to its theocracy since the chaotic years 
after its 1979 Islamic Revolution. The protests were sparked when Mahsa Amini, 
22, died in custody on Sept. 16, three days after her arrest by Iran's morality 
police for violating the Islamic Republic's strict dress code for women. Iran's 
government insists Amini was not mistreated, but her family says her body 
showed bruises and other signs of beating after she was detained

   In a statement issued by Iran's state-run IRNA news agency on Saturday, the 
country's national security council announced that some 200 people have been 
killed during the protests, the body's first official word on the casualties. 
Last week, Iranian Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh tallied the death toll at more than 
300.

   The contradictory tolls are lower than the toll reported by Human Rights 
Activists in Iran, a U.S.-based organization that has been closely monitoring 
the protest since the outbreak. In its most recent update, the group says that 
469 people have been killed and 18,210 others detained in the protests and the 
violent security force crackdown that followed.

   The United States unilaterally pulled out of the nuclear deal -- formally 
known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA -- in 2018, under 
then-President Donald Trump. It reimposed sanctions on Iran, prompting Tehran 
to start backing away from the deal's terms. Iran has long denied ever seeking 
nuclear weapons, insisting its nuclear program is peaceful.

 
 
Copyright DTN. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.
Powered By DTN