Iran Announces Plans for Two New Reactors for Fuel Enrichment
Senior Iranian officials revealed that Tehran plans to build two more nuclear reactors, and that the country will carry out its missile tests on schedule, two separate reports in Tasnim News Agency revealed on Thursday.
Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran and one of its chief nuclear negotiators in talks with the P5+1, said that Iran plans to build two more nuclear reactors to operate alongside the existing Bushehr nuclear power plant.
“We would be working on different advanced machines. We would be working on the IR8, on the IR6. The IR8 and IR6 are the two candidates that could really meet our needs in terms of producing enough enrichment capacity to meet the annual needs of [the Bushehr power reactor]. And 10 years from now, we will have two other nuclear power reactors added to Bushehr. But using [the permitted centrifuges], in 15 years we will be in a position to meet the fuel requirements of these reactors,” Salehi said.
He also reiterated Iran’s oft-repeated line that its nuclear program is and always has been peaceful, based on a religious edict by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei prohibiting the development of nuclear arms.
He added that, despite preferring no constraints on its nuclear program, nothing within the nuclear deal was perceived by Iran as a major constraint in the realm of research and development.
Separately, the chief of staff of the Iranian army, Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi, announced on Wednesday that the country’s missile tests will be carried out on schedule according to plans approved by the supreme leader.
His announcement was response to Iranian lawmakers asking for the Armed Forces to continue conducting missile tests, in response to what Tasnim called, “U.S. officials’ brazen rhetoric of war against Iran.”
Thanking the lawmakers for their concern, Firouzabadi assured them that there would be no delays on missile testing.