Iran Nuclear NewsTeheran's nuclear defiance continues

Teheran’s nuclear defiance continues

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Daily Telegraph: Iran completed the reactivation of its uranium conversion plant yesterday in defiance of international calls for it to suspend all work on nuclear fuel. Technicians cut away the remaining security seals on the production line at the Isfahan plant, meaning that the factory was back to full capacity. Daily Telegraph

By Tim Butcher, Middle East Correspondent

Iran completed the reactivation of its uranium conversion plant yesterday in defiance of international calls for it to suspend all work on nuclear fuel.

Technicians cut away the remaining security seals on the production line at the Isfahan plant, meaning that the factory was back to full capacity.

The seals, installed under the aegis of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), were part of a series of measures agreed last year after talks between Iran and the European Union.

They were proof of Teheran’s willingness to suspend conversion of uranium but their removal underscores Iran’s volte face.

A crisis meeting of the IAEA dragged on into a third day after representatives of the agency’s 35 member states last night failed to agree on a response.

While some nations are believed to favour punitive economic sanctions, others are trying to come up with a more diplomatic response to encourage Iran to suspend production again.

Teheran was sending mixed signals, with the government hinting it would be willing to negotiate just a few hours before the seals were broken.

The action was condemned by the United States. “Today’s breaking of seals is yet another sign of Iran’s disregard for international concerns,” said a spokesman for the US mission to the IAEA.

While Iran says its production of nuclear fuel is intended only for its nuclear power programme, many countries in the West are concerned it is destined for a covert nuclear weapons programme.

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