Iran tells UN it will hike uranium enrichment capacity

An Iranian technician works at the Isfahan Uranium Conversion Facilities (UCF), 420 kms south of Tehran, 03 February 2007. Iran opened the doors to its uranium conversion plant today in a bid to show its good intentions amid mounting international pressure for a halt its controversial nuclear programme. A delegation of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and Group of 77 representatives arrived at the facility in the central city of Isfahan together with foreign and Iranian journalists for a guided tour. (AFP/BEHROUZ MEHRI)
Updated 05 June 2018

Iran tells UN it will hike uranium enrichment capacity

  • Iran has notified the International Atomic Energy Agency that it has launched a plan to increase its uranium enrichment capacity
  • Iran has begun working on infrastructure for building advanced centrifuges at its Natanz facility

TEHRAN: Iran has notified the International Atomic Energy Agency that it has launched a plan to increase its uranium enrichment capacity, nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said Tuesday.
"If conditions allow, maybe tomorrow night at Natanz, we can announce the opening of the centre for production of new centrifuges" for uranium enrichment, said Salehi, a vice president and head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation, according to conservative news agency Fars.
"What we are doing does not violate the (2015 nuclear) agreement," he said, adding that a letter was submitted to the IAEA "yesterday regarding the start of certain activities".
He specified that this was just the start of the production process and "does not mean that we will start assembling the centrifuges".
Under the 2015 agreement, Iran can build parts for the centrifuges as long as it does not put them into operation within the first decade.
Salehi also emphasised that these moves "do not mean the negotiations (with Europe) have failed."
European governments have been trying to salvage the agreement ever since the United States announced its withdrawal last month and said it would reimpose sanctions on foreign companies working in the Islamic republic by November.
The other parties -- Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia -- have vowed to stay in the accord but many of their companies have already started to wind down Iranian operations.
On Monday, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned the Europeans that "Iran will never tolerate both suffering from sanctions and nuclear restrictions" and called for preparations to speed up uranium enrichment.
Iran insists its nuclear programme is for civilian uses only, but opponents in the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia accuse it of seeking to build an atomic bomb.


Car bomb targeting Turkish contractors explodes in town outside Somali capital

Updated 27 min 16 sec ago

Car bomb targeting Turkish contractors explodes in town outside Somali capital

  • “A speeding suicide car bomb rammed into a place where the Turkish engineers and Somali police were having lunch,” an officer said
  • It was not know who carried out the attack but residents and police said Al-Shabab fighters had tried to attack Afgoye on Friday

MOGADISHU: A car bomb targeting a group of Turkish contractors exploded on Saturday in Afgoye, northwest of the Somali capital Mogadishu, police said.
There was no immediate word on any fatalities.
“A speeding suicide car bomb rammed into a place where the Turkish engineers and Somali police were having lunch,” police officer Nur Ali told Reuters from Afgoye.
It was not know who carried out the attack but residents and police said Al-Shabab fighters had tried to attack Afgoye, about 30 km from Mogadishu, late on Friday and were repulsed.
The Al-Qaeda-linked militant group has claimed responsibility for past attacks in its campaign to overturn Somalia’s UN-backed government.
“We heard a huge blast and soon clouds of smoke into the air. Before the blast, several Turkish engineers and well armed convoy of Somali police were at the scene,” Farah Abdullahi, a shopkeeper, told Reuters from Afgoye.
“We see casualties being carried but we cannot make if they are dead or injured.”
Since a 2011 famine in Somalia, Turkey has been a major source of aid to the country as Ankara seeks to increase its influence in the Horn of Africa in contest with Gulf rivals like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Turkish engineers are helping with road construction in Somalia. A group of engineers was among those hit in late December in a blast at a checkpoint in Mogadishu that killed at least 90 people.