Iran Approves Plan To Build 10 New Nuke Sites


ahmadinejadThe Iranian government approved a plan yesterday to build 10 new uranium enrichment facilities, a dramatic expansion in defiance of U.N. demands it halt the program.

The decision comes only two days after the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency censured Iran, demanding it immediately stop building a newly revealed enrichment facility near the holy city of Qom and freeze all uranium enrichment activities.

A Cabinet meeting headed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ordered the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran to begin building five uranium enrichment sites that have already been studied and propose five other locations for future construction within two months.

In Vienna, spokeswoman Gillian Tudor said the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency would have no comment. But the announcement is likely to stoke already high tensions between Iran and the West over its controversial nuclear activities.

Iran has one industrial-scale uranium enrichment plant near Natanz, in central Iran. The IAEA said earlier this month that about 8,600 centrifuges had been set up in Natanz, but only about 4,000 were enriching uranium. The facility will eventually house 54,000 centrifuges.

The newly revealed enrichment site, known as Fordo, is a small scale site that will house nearly 3,000 centrifuges.

IRNA said the Cabinet ordered that the 10 new sites have a scale equal to Natanz’s.

In the enrichment process, uranium gas is spun in centrifuges to purify it. Enriched to a low degree, the result is fuel for a nuclear reactor — but highly enriched uranium can be used to build a warhead. The United States and its allies accuse Iran of secretly seeking to develop a bomb, a claim denied by Iran, which says it seeks only to generate electricity.

Under Iranian law, Iran’s nuclear agency has been tasked with providing 20,000 megawatts of electricity through nuclear power plants during in the next 20 years. IRNA said the country needs to build enrichment facilities to produce nuclear fuel for its future power plants.

Ahmadinejad told the Cabinet that Iran will need to install 500,000 centrifuges throughout the planned enrichment facilities to produce between 250 to 300 tons of fuel annually.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Parliament passed a law on Sunday earmarking $20 million to support militant groups opposing the West, and to investigate alleged U.S. and British plots against the Islamic Republic.

The legislation is widely seen as a response to Western criticism of Iran’s violent crackdown against protesters following the disputed June presidential election. Lawmakers started debating the outline of the bill in August when Iran’s hardline leaders were fending off allegations that security forces had tortured opposition activists detained during the demonstrations.

The text of the legislation says the money is to “support progressive currents that resist illegal activities by the governments of the U.S. and Britain.” Iranian officials often use such terms to describe militant groups.

It was not immediately clear which groups would receive funding from Iran, but Tehran already backs the Islamic militants Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The bill also taps funds to “confront plots and unjust restrictions” by Washington and London against Tehran, and to disclose “human rights abuses by the two countries.”

A committee with representatives from Iran’s intelligence services, the elite Revolutionary Guards, as well as the Foreign Ministry and the communication and culture ministries will manage the funds.

Iran’s constitutional watchdog must still approve the bill before it takes effect.

 {WKTV-2/Noam Newscenter}


  1. its scary to see the world do nothing to counter Iran’s nuclear threats it seem if they continue to use gradual steps they will be able to take out Israel without provoking the US or UN to actually do anything about it.