Monday, January 9, 2012

Iran's uranium enrichment a nuclear 'escalation': US

The United States has said that Iran's uranium enrichment at heavily fortified Fordu underground site near Qom is a "further escalation" in the nuclear showdown with the international community.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, center, visits the Natanz Uranium
"We are closely monitoring their nuclear programme in general, and this development, given
their track record and what the IAEA inspectors have been able to report, it's not a surprise to us, what we're hearing," state department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters.

The state department's response came after Iran announced over the weekend that the Fordo plant near Qom city will be inaugurated soon and will have the capacity to produce uranium enriched to 20%. International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed that Iran has begun enriching uranium at Fordu.

"If they are enriching at Fordu to 20%, this is a further escalation of their ongoing violation with regard to their nuclear obligations, including the legally binding UN Security Council resolutions," Nuland said.

"So obviously, we call on Iran once again to suspend enrichment activities, cooperate fully with the IAEA and immediately comply with all Security Council and IAEA Board of Governors resolutions," Nuland said in response to a question.

The inspectors of IAEA, she said, have found that Iran is not complying with its obligations.

"Iran plays this game with the inspectors. They let them go some places at some times when it seems to suit their purposes, but that doesn't change the fact that what the inspectors are now reporting is that they are taking the next step and escalating their violations of their own commitment," she said.


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