nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Iran’s top diplomat presses efforts to save nuclear deal

May 18, 2019, TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s foreign minister traveled Friday to China on his Asian tour aimed at keeping world markets open to Tehran amid an intense sanctions campaign from the U.S. as tensions across the Persian Gulf remain high.

Concerns about a possible conflict have flared since the White House ordered warships and bombers to the region to counter an alleged, unexplained threat from Iran that has seen America order nonessential diplomatic staff out of Iraq……

mposing sanctions while seeking talks is like “pointing a gun at someone and demanding friendship,” said Iranian Gen. Rasool Sanaeirad, according to the semi-official Mehr news agency.

That comment was echoed by Majid Takht-e Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations.

“They want to have the stick in their hands, trying to intimidate Iran at the same time calling for a dialogue,” Ravanchi told CBS. “What type of dialogue is this?”…..https://www.apnews.com/04eabdee60dc4a399b22a2c6a5f0c672

Advertisements

May 20, 2019 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Iran officially ends some of its nuclear deal commitments, local media reports

CNBC, MAY 15 2019    Natasha Turak@NATASHATURAKA “program has been launched” to end some of Iran’s obligations to the 2015 nuclear deal on orders from the country’s Supreme National Security Council, the Iranian Students’ News Agency reported…… https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/15/iran-officially-ends-some-of-its-nuclear-deal-commitments-isna.html

May 16, 2019 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Trump administration’s maximum pressure campaign: paving the way for war against Iran?

May 14, 2019 Posted by | Iran, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

European Union countries face deadline to save nuclear deal with Iran

May 14, 2019 Posted by | EUROPE, Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Iran Supports Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

Tehran, May 10 (Prensa Latina) Iran supports the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to the full extent, Iran’s Representative to the UN, Mohammad Ali Robatjazi, said in a statement quoted in Tehran on Friday.

During a meeting held in New York, Robajatjazi described the atomic weapon as greatest threat to humanity.

The best way to stop the development of these lethal tools is the total application of the NPT, to which all countries must subscribe, he said.

The Iranian delegate criticized the U.S. nuclear aid to Israel, which reflects its double standards for the possession and development of atomic technology.

Israel must be forced to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and submit to inspections of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), he stressed…… https://www.plenglish.com/index.php?o=rn&id=41815&SEO=iran-supports-nuclear-non-proliferation-treaty

May 11, 2019 Posted by | Iran, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The difficulty in knowing if Iran did start making a nuclear bomb

It may become impossible to tell if Iran starts making a nuclear bomb,   https://www.newscientist.com/article/2202247-it-may-become-impossible-to-tell-if-iran-starts-making-a-nuclear-bomb/   By Debora MacKenzie, 10 May 19, 

The most ambitious effort ever to peacefully stop a country getting a nuclear bomb hangs by a thread this week. On 8 May Iranian president Hassan Rouhani announced that his country would start stockpiling low-enriched uranium and heavy water – a potential step towards building nuclear weapons.

The move was in response to US sanctions, despite Iran’s compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which aims to limit the country’s potential bomb-making nuclear activities.

JCPOA imposed an unprecedented inspections regime on Iranian nuclear plants, which has been testing novel monitoring technology that could severely limit the spread of the bomb.

The deal does not stop Iran making enriched uranium to fuel its nuclear power plant, or heavy water for a reactor it was building at Arak. But it prevents it stockpiling either or enriching uranium further towards weapons-grade, and says Arak must be re-designed to produce less of another bomb fuel, plutonium.

The incentive for Iran was a lifting of trade sanctions, imposed after it was found to have covertly enriched uranium in the early 2000s. Since then the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has judged Iran to be in compliance with the deal.

But one year ago, US president Donald Trump pulled out of the JCPOA, saying he was unhappy with the deal. The US re-imposed trade sanctions and threatened countries that did business with Iran with severe trade penalties. Since then Iran’s oil exports have since fallen from 2.5 to 1 million barrels a day.

Now, Rouhani’s pledge means Iran will stop exporting low-enriched uranium and heavy water, which was mandated by the JCPOA, so Iran could continue production without exceeding caps on stockpiles.

The build-up of the materials will not immediately violate the JCPOA. But Rouhani added that if European countries do not, in 60 days, find some way for banks and importers to do business with Iran without suffering US sanctions, Iran will start enriching uranium further – and build Arak to existing specifications. That will be the end of the JCPOA, as Iran resumes its path to a bomb.

We may not even know if it does. The JCPOA provides three levels of safeguards in Iran. It gets the standard inspections the IAEA does in all countries with nuclear plants; additional inspections agreed in 1997 and voluntary for IAEA member states; and extra, unprecedented inspections, including continuous monitoring using novel technology.

James Acton of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, says that without the JCPOA, Iran gets only the basic inspections – which it successfully evaded in the past. Without extra inspections the IAEA cannot draw credible conclusions about the absence of undeclared activities in Iran, says Acton.

In theory inspectors outside Iran could watch for krypton-85, a tell-tale gas emitted when plutonium is extracted from heavy water reactors. But Acton is not even sure Iran would attempt to keep that secret. The idea of having nuclear weapons is to deter attack – and as Dr. Strangelove observed, it isn’t much of a deterrent if no one knows you have it.

May 11, 2019 Posted by | Iran, politics international, Uranium, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Increase in Iran Snap Nuclear Inspections as Tensions With U.S. Rise

Iran Snap Nuclear Inspections Jump as Tensions With U.S. Rise, Bloomberg,By Jonathan Tirone, May 11, 2019, 

  •  Nuclear monitors conducted record surprise visits in 2018
  •  Iran has ‘most robust verfication system in existence’

Snap inspections at Iranian nuclear facilities jumped last year, underscoring the wide-reaching ability of international monitors to access potential sites that could feed clandestine research.

The finding was included in the International Atomic Energy Agency’s latest Safeguards Implementation Report, which is circulating among nuclear-security officials as the specter of another Middle Eastern conflict rises. Europe in particular has found itself squeezed between hostile governments in Washington and Tehran after the U.S. left the nuclear deal and slapped sanctions on Iran.

According to a copy of the restricted report published this week and obtained by Bloomberg News, inspectors deployed in Iran conducted a record number of so-called complementary accesses for a third year running in 2018. Almost 400 inspectors spent some 1,867 person-days combing Iranian sites and triggered more than three surprise visits a month………https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-10/iran-snap-nuclear-inspections-jump-as-tensions-with-u-s-rise

May 11, 2019 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Why Iran decided to partially withdraw from the nuclear weapons treaty

Iran’s ambassador to the UN blames ‘U.S. bullying’ for decision on nuclear treaty,  PBS NewsHour  Iran said it plans to cease complying with portions of the nuclear deal it signed with Western powers in 2015, though it didn’t withdraw from the agreement altogether. But the announcement increases already escalating tensions with the U.S. Nick Schifrin talks to Takht Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the UN, about why Iran made the decision now and whether it can trust President Trump.
May 8, 2019

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Today, Iran announced it plans to stop complying with portions of the nuclear deal it signed with Western powers in 2015. Iran stopped short of withdrawing from the deal altogether.

    But, as Nick Schifrin reports, the announcement increases already escalating tensions with the United States.

  • Nick Schifrin:

    The Iran deal made a fundamental trade: Iran restricted its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

    One year ago today, the Trump administration withdrew from the deal, and has since reimposed sanctions. For the last year, Iran complied with the deal, but, today, Iran said it would not abide by all the deal’s restrictions….. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/irans-ambassador-to-the-un-blames-u-s-bullying-for-decision-on-nuclear-treaty

May 11, 2019 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Trump announces new sanctions on Iran. Iran warns it will step away from nuclear deal

U.S. Issues New Sanctions as Iran Warns It Will Step Back From Nuclear Deal,  NYT,   By David E. SangerEdward WongSteven Erlanger and Eric Schmitt, May 8, 2019 

WASHINGTON — Iran’s president declared on Wednesday that he would begin to walk away from the restrictions of a 2015 nuclear deal, and the Trump administration responded with a new round of sanctions against Tehran, reviving a crisis that had been contained for the past four years.

The escalation of threats caught the United States’ allies in Europe in the crossfire between Washington and Tehran. And while the announcement by President Hassan Rouhani of Iran did not terminate the landmark nuclear accord that was negotiated by world powers, it put it on life support.

Britain, France and Germany all opposed President Trump’s move a year ago to withdraw the United States from the accord that limited Iran’s capacity to produce nuclear fuel for 15 years. Ever since, the Trump administration has ramped up a pressure campaign against Iran’s military and clerical leaders, including blocking global oil exports and expediting warships and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf this week to face down what officials described, without evidence, as a new threat by Tehran against American troops in the Middle East.

European officials had promised to set up a bartering system to evade American sanctions imposed against Iranian oil. But that effort has largely failed, even as Iran complied with its obligations under the agreement, from production limits to inspections.

 

On Wednesday morning in Tehran, Mr. Rouhani declared he had run out of patience.

The path we have chosen today is not the path of war, it is the path of diplomacy,” he said in a nationally broadcast speech. “But diplomacy with a new language and a new logic.”

Rather than exit the deal entirely, Mr. Rouhani announced a series of small steps to resume the production of nuclear centrifuges and to begin accumulating nuclear material.

  • Mr. Rouhani also set a series of carefully calibrated deadlines for European leaders — essentially forcing them to either join the United States in isolating Iran or uphold the nuclear deal that world powers spent years negotiating with Tehran.

    He said the Europeans had 60 days to assure that Iran could “reap our benefits” under the nuclear accord, by making up for lost oil revenues and allowing the country back into the international financial system.

    If the Europeans agree, they will be subject to sanctions by the United States. If they dismiss Mr. Rouhani’s claims, he says Iran will take more dramatic steps.

    Hours later, the White House announced that it was taking additional measures to squeeze Iran’s economy by imposing sanctions on its steel, aluminum, iron and copper sectors. Iran’s industrial metals industries account for about 10 percent of its exports, according to a Trump administration estimate.

    Mr. Trump said in a statement that the move “puts other nations on notice that allowing Iranian steel and other metals into your ports will no longer be tolerated.”

    Under John R. Bolton, the national security adviser who has long advocated pressing for regime change in Iran, the White House has been urging ever-escalating sanctions…….Hours later, the White House announced that it was taking additional measures to squeeze Iran’s economy by imposing sanctions on its steel, aluminum, iron and copper sectors. Iran’s industrial metals industries account for about 10 percent of its exports, according to a Trump administration estimate.

    Mr. Trump said in a statement that the move “puts other nations on notice that allowing Iranian steel and other metals into your ports will no longer be tolerated.”

    Under John R. Bolton, the national security adviser who has long advocated pressing for regime change in Iran, the White House has been urging ever-escalating  santions……Hours later, the White House announced that it was taking additional measures to squeeze Iran’s economy by imposing sanctions on its steel, aluminum, iron and copper sectors. Iran’s industrial metals industries account for about 10 percent of its exports, according to a Trump administration estimate.

    Mr. Trump said in a statement that the move “puts other nations on notice that allowing Iranian steel and other metals into your ports will no longer be tolerated.”

    Under John R. Bolton, the national security adviser who has long advocated pressing for regime change in Iran, the White House has been urging ever-escalating sanctions…….https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/08/us/politics/iran-nuclear-deal.html

May 9, 2019 Posted by | Iran, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

USA renews waivers of Iran sanctions for civilian nuclear work

May 4, 2019 Posted by | Iran, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

End of nuclear cooperation waivers could quietly kill Iran deal

April 25, 2019 Posted by | EUROPE, Iran, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Pompeo avoids questions on ending waivers permitting Iran’s ongoing nuclear work

April 11, 2019 Posted by | Iran, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

U.S. accuses Iran of plotting to restart nuclear weapons program

  https://www.politico.com/story/2019/03/22/sanctions-iran-weapons-program-1232221, By KATIE GALIOTO, 03/22/2019
U.S. officials on Friday accused Iran of plotting to restart work on its nuclear weapons program, despite Tehran agreeing in a 2015 accord to not pursue such weapons.The charges were made as the Treasury and State Departments announced a new round of sanctions against 14 individuals and 17 entities linked to the Iranian Ministry of Defense unit responsible for nuclear weapons development, senior administration officials said Friday.

Iran’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research, also referred to by the acronym SPND, maintains technical experts and critical ties to Iran’s previous nuclear efforts — notably to Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, head of Iran’s pre-2004 nuclear weapons program, officials said.

They added that Tehran-based SPND may not currently be working to develop nuclear weapons, but that the connections to Iran’s previous nuclear programs increase the threat of the country developing weapons of mass destruction. Iran has long claimed to have no interest in developing nuclear weapons, but the United Nations in 2015 uncovered a secret program that lasted until at least 2009.

The sanctions are the latest step the U.S. has taken to ramp up economic pressure on Iran after President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear pact, in which the country’s Islamist regime agreed to abandon any nuclear ambitions in exchange for economic sanctions relief. The other parties in the agreement — including several European countries, China and Russia — have all remained in the deal, and international organizations say Tehran

has complied with the agreement.

Trump has bashed the the international pact for not doing enough to stop Iranian efforts to build nuclear bombs. Since leaving the accord, his administration has leaned on other countries to cut off their interactions with Iran.

“Anyone considering dealing with the Iranian defense industry in general, and SPND in particular, risks professional, personal, and financial isolation,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement Friday.

March 23, 2019 Posted by | Iran, politics international, USA | 1 Comment

International Atomic Agency would require Saudi Arabia to have the same nuclear safeguards as Iran has

Before Saudi Arabia Goes Nuclear, It May Have to Follow Iran’s Lead, Bloomberg, By Jonathan Tirone March 7, 2019,  

  • Kingdom has yet to clinch enhanced atomic monitoring deal
  • World powers are meeting with Iran on Wednesday in Vienna.

“………Focus on Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program has risen in the last month after the U.S. Congress opened an investigation into the potentially illegal transfer of sensitive technologies to the kingdom. This week the International Atomic Energy Agency, responsible for verifying that countries don’t divert material for weapons, weighed in on what its inspectors need before the kingdom can start generating nuclear power.  

Focus on Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program has risen in the last month after the U.S. Congress opened an investigation into the potentially illegal transfer of sensitive technologies to the kingdom. This week the International Atomic Energy Agency, responsible for verifying that countries don’t divert material for weapons, weighed in on what its inspectors need before the kingdom can start generating nuclear power.  

Riyadh’s nuclear program is developing “based on an old text” of safeguard rules, even as it expects to complete its first research reactor this year and plans to tap uraniumreserves, according to IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano, who told journalists this week in Vienna that he’s “appealing to all countries to rescind” those old ways of doing business. 

We’re encouraging all countries to conclude and implement an additional protocol and that includes Saudi Arabia,” said Amano, who’s also in charge of enforcing the 2015 nuclear deal struck between Iran and world powers. The Japanese career diplomat has called the set of rules established by that accord, which U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from in May, as “the most rigorous monitoring mechanism ever negotiated.”……

 the IAEA comments could strike a precautionary note among vendors lining up to service the kingdom’s nuclear ambitions. Receiving the imprimatur of IAEA inspectors, who account for gram-level quantities of nuclear material worldwide, is a precondition for receiving technologies and fuel. Without reaching a new understanding with monitors, Saudi plans for 3.2 gigawatts of atomic power by the end next decade could flounder. …….

Maintaining that level of IAEA access to Iran’s nuclear program is the reason that China, France, Germany, Russia and the U.K. continue to defy U.S. calls to abandon the 2015 deal and reimpose sanctions. Diplomats from those countries convened Wednesday in Vienna in their first meeting since the European Union established a trade channel to skirt U.S. threats.  

Snap Inspections in Iran

IAEA complementary access to sites rose under agreement with world powers……https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-06/before-saudi-goes-nuclear-it-may-have-to-follow-iran-s-lead

March 7, 2019 Posted by | Iran, politics international, Saudi Arabia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

International Atomic Energy Agency chief again confirms that Iran is keeping to the nuclear deal

Head of UN nuclear agency: Iran keeping to nuclear deal,   https://www.foxnews.com/world/head-of-un-nuclear-agency-iran-keeping-to-nuclear-deal4 Mar 19,  The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog says Iran is complying with the 2015 deal with major world powers aimed at preventing the country from building nuclear weapons.

Yukiya Amano made his assessment in a regular update to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board of governors, confirming a confidential report distributed to member states last month.

He said Monday that “Iran is implementing its nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” referencing the official name of the 2015 deal.

Amano added that “it is essential that Iran continues to fully implement those commitments.”

The U.S. unilaterally withdrew from the deal last year and re-imposed sanctions.

The other signatories — Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China — are trying to keep alive the deal, which offered Iran economic incentives.

March 5, 2019 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment