Press Association: The Foreign Office has expressed concern over Iran’s announcement that it has dramatically expanded its nuclear programme. Press Association
The Foreign Office has expressed concern over Iran’s announcement that it has dramatically expanded its nuclear programme.
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s declaration that his country is now capable of enriching nuclear fuel “on an industrial scale” caused alarm in the West.
He insists the technology is for solely civilian purposes but the US and other western nations fear it is the first step towards developing nuclear weapons.
The tenfold escalation to the use of 3,000 centrifuges comes despite the imposition of United Nations sanctions and fears of possible US military action.
A Foreign Office spokesman said Iran should suspend enrichment immediately. He said: “We are concerned that Iran appears to have confirmed more nuclear enrichment activity. This is a further breach of IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and UNSC (UN Security Council) resolutions.
“Iran knows exactly what it must do: comply with UNSC resolutions 1737 and 1747 by suspending all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities before discussions can begin on assistance with a modern civil nuclear power programme.”
He added: “We have always made it clear that we are happy for Iran to have a civil nuclear power programme but they have to satisfy the international community that that is what it is seeking to develop.
“The international community stands together in ensuring that Iran does not develop the means to acquire nuclear weapons.”
Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman Michael Moore said Iran’s continued drive represented “a serious threat to the world”, insisting: “While some may doubt the president’s claims, there should be no question about Iran’s intentions.
“The international community must be firm in its response and ensure that the sanctions against the regime are as tight and as tough as possible.”