Iran Nuclear NewsU.S. sceptical about Iranian nuclear advances

U.S. sceptical about Iranian nuclear advances


Reuters: Washington is sceptical that Iran is installing 6,000 new centrifuges to enrich uranium and testing an advanced centrifuge with greater capacity, a top U.S. diplomat said on Thursday. By Adrian Croft

LONDON (Reuters) – Washington is sceptical that Iran is installing 6,000 new centrifuges to enrich uranium and testing an advanced centrifuge with greater capacity, a top U.S. diplomat said on Thursday.

Gregory Schulte, U.S. ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog, told reporters they should take “with a grain of salt” comments by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday.

Centrifuges are used to enrich uranium, which can be used as fuel in power plants or, if highly refined, for nuclear weapons. The West fears Iran’s objective is to make a bomb. Tehran says its programme is for peaceful uses only.

“Ahmadinejad has a record of making bold political announcements not necessarily supported by technical facts,” Schulte said, calling the speech more of a “political stunt”.

“Iran has not yet mastered the capability to enrich uranium although they are obviously working very hard to do this,” he told a news conference.

Iran has a number of centrifuges in operation but experts say it has not mastered the highly sophisticated process of producing uranium in the quantities needed to fuel a nuclear power plant or to build an atomic bomb.

Nevertheless, Schulte said the path Ahmadinejad was taking was of “enormous concern” to the United States and others.

“Clearly President Ahmadinejad and the leadership in Iran are disregarding the concerns of the international community and they are also violating now four resolutions of the (U.N.) Security Council…,” he said.

The Security Council has imposed three rounds of limited sanctions since 2006 on Iran for refusing to stop enriching uranium. Iran, the world’s fourth largest oil exporter, says it wants nuclear power to generate electricity to meet high demand.


While urging Iran to negotiate, Schulte said Washington kept open the “military option” to halt Iran’s nuclear programme.

“I think the president (George W. Bush) is very careful not to take options off the table but … our goal is to get a diplomatic solution,” he said. The military option was “not the next option, I can say that for sure”.

“Sometimes I’ve worried that perhaps the only person in the world who would like a military option could be that crazy guy President Ahmadinejad. He seems to revel in isolation, he seems to revel in defiance,” he said.

The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany will meet on April 16 in Shanghai and are expected to discuss whether to sweeten incentives they offered to Iran in 2006 to curb its nuclear programme.

Schulte said the offer was “pretty darn generous”. “It’s a big offer … and it’s an offer, so it’s also available to negotiate,” he said. “Rather than just negotiate among ourselves, we’d like Iran to seriously consider the offer.”

Iran has ruled out halting or limiting its nuclear work in exchange for trade and other incentives, and says it will only negotiate with the U.N. nuclear watchdog.

(Editing by David Clarke)

Latest news

Iranian regime threatens Middle East with “hypersonic” missiles

The Iranian regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on Tuesday unveiled a hypersonic missile. Hypersonic is a type of...

The Iranian regime lacks nuclear transparency

Iran has not acted as expected in terms of transparency regarding its nuclear program, said the head of the...

Iran has sold $1 million in ammo to Russia

The Iranian regime has sold ammunition to Russia worth more than one million dollars in the ongoing conflict in...

Forecasting a “difficult year” for Iran

The official website of the Iranian regime’s presidency was taken over by Iranian dissidents in a significant security breach...

US Sanctions IRGC’s Foreign Terrorism, Intel Unit Chief

The US government has imposed sanctions targeting the Chief of the Intelligence Unit of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps...

Iran’s Fruit Production: Exports High, Consumption Low, Prices Soar

Iran's diverse climate, topography, and altitude give rise to a wide variety of fruits, ranging from tropical dates to...

Must read

Obama says Iran a year away from nuclear bomb

AFP: US President Barack Obama said in an interview...

Iran grants Syria $3.6-bln oil credit line: SANA

AFP: Iran has agreed to supply Damascus with $3.6...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you