Iran’s president has announced a “state of the art” research reactor designed to produce low-enriched uranium for a future bomb and says it will continue working on its programme.
Key points:Nuclear scientists will be working on the research reactor as Iran’s nuclear programme has been under intense scrutiny by the WestThe reactor will be operational by 2025Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday the country was “ready to continue working” on its nuclear programmePresident Rouhani said the research centre will be a “firm foundation for the country’s nuclear power program”The US and other world powers say Iran has failed to comply with a 2010 deal to limit its nuclear activity in exchange for lifting international sanctions.
Iran has said the reactor will produce up to 25 tonnes of low-level uranium for the development of a nuclear bomb, and has said it aims to be ready to restart the reactor by 2025.
“This research reactor is an important part of our country’s programme to develop low- enriched uranium and to obtain nuclear weapons,” President Hassan Rouhani told a ceremony in Tehran to mark the start of a state of the arts research project.
“It will not produce a bomb, but will help to bring about a long-term and peaceful nuclear energy for our country,” he said.
Iranian media reported the president’s announcement on Wednesday.
The project, which is named after Iran’s founder and first president, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, was established in the 1980s, with a goal of producing 1,000 tonnes of the material for use in nuclear reactors.
Nuclear experts say it will be possible to produce up 100 tonnes per year in a five-year period, with the final production being around 10 tonnes per annum.
The US, Britain, France and Germany say Iran is in violation of the nuclear deal and is trying to develop nuclear weapons, with Tehran denying the allegations.
Iran denies its nuclear work is related to weapons.