Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Iran claims upper ground in nuclear talks with world powers

Iran produces first uranium yellowcake from southern mine
Tehran (AFP) Dec 5, 2010 - Iran has produced its first batch of uranium yellowcake, the raw material for enrichment, from a mine in the south of the country, atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi said on Sunday. "The West had counted on the possibility of us being in trouble over raw material but today we had the first batch of yellowcake from Gachin mine sent to Isfahan (conversion) facility," Salehi said on state television. Conversion is the process by which yellowcake is converted into uranium hexafluoride for enrichment. The atomic chief said the new step made Iran "self-sufficient" in the entire nuclear fuel cycle as it had previously been obliged to import yellowcake from abroad but he declined to reveal the amount of the first domestically produced batch.

"We cannot cover the overall need of the Isfahan facility but we will produce a significant part of it" from the Gachin mine near the Gulf port city of Bandar Abbas, Salehi said. He said Iran would formally notify the International Atomic Energy Agency of its yellowcake production. The announcement came as Iran is poised to hold a new round of talks with world powers on its controversial nuclear programme in Geneva on Monday. Uranium enrichment lies at the heart of Western concerns about Iran's nuclear activities as the process can produce fuel for nuclear reactors or in highly extended form the fissile core of an atom bomb. Iran denies seeking a weapons capability but has pressed on with uranium enrichment in defiance of repeated UN Security Council ultimatums.
by Staff Writers
Geneva (AFP) Dec 6, 2010
Iran and world powers will hold talks on their deepening standoff over the Iranian nuclear programme for the first time in 14 months on Monday with Tehran claiming it has strengthened its hand.

Iran raised the stakes on Sunday when it revealed that it had mined and produced its first home-grown batch of uranium yellowcake -- the raw material for enrichment -- instead of seeking to import new supplies.

That triggered statements of concern in Washington and Europe ahead of the the meeting in Geneva between the European Union's top diplomat, Catherine Ashton, and Iran's chief negotiator, Saeed Jalili.

The talks are tentatively scheduled to resume on Tuesday morning.

Ashton will act on behalf of the five UN Security Council permanent members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- plus Germany, accompanied by senior officials from those countries, diplomats said.

Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons, but has continued enriching uranium in defiance of repeated UN Security Council sanctions imposed since 2006 to prevent it acquiring the technology and raw material for its nuclear programme.

The talks, a mirror image of the last attempt in October 2009 to temper Iran's uranium enrichment drive, are taking place amid tougher international sanctions and few hopes that a deal can be struck.

Before Sunday's announcement by Iran's atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi, European sources hoped the meeting would mark re-engagement with Iran even if it did not produce instant results.

Iran claimed on Sunday it had added a new dimension to the nuclear equation by producing yellowcake.

"Iran has become self-sufficient in the entire fuel cycle," said Salehi in Tehran.

That meant it would "go to the negotiations with strength and power," he added.

In Washington, White House official Mike Hammer said: "This calls into further question Iran's intentions and raises additional concerns at a time when Iran needs to address the concerns of the international community."

A European source said: "Obviously the concerns that we have are very valid."

Tehran insists it has a right to enrichment to make fuel for peaceful energy use as a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and has vowed to continue doing so.

"No matter how much effort they put into their sanctions in creating all sorts of hindrance... our nuclear activities will proceed," Salehi said.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reiterated on Saturday that enrichment is "non-negotiable" while calling on world powers to "stop being hostile."

Iran also accuses Western powers and Israel -- the sole if undeclared nuclear weapons state in the Middle East -- of being behind the recent assassination of a top nuclear scientist and attempts to sabotage the Iranian nuclear programme.

The last talks in Geneva in October 2009 ended with cautious optimism following the first direct encounter between senior US and Iranian officials for 30 years.

But proposals for a deal on enriching Iran's uranium outside the country swiftly unravelled afterwards.

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at
Learn about missile defense at
All about missiles at
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Iran will 'never use' force against Muslim neighbours
Manama (AFP) Dec 4, 2010
Iran sought on Saturday to calm its neighbours' fears, saying it would never use force against them because they are Muslims, after Washington highlighted concerns over Tehran's suspected nuclear weapons programme. Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki made the point at a security conference two days before Iran is to sit down with world powers in Geneva for the first time since October 2009 t ... read more

Neptec Wins Canadian Space Agency Contract To Develop A New Generation Of Lunar Rovers

Mission to far side of moon proposed

Mining On The Moon Is A Not-So-Distant Possibility

A Softer Landing on the Moon

Opportunity Imaging Small Craters On Way To Endeavour

Opportunity Making Progress To Endeavour Crater

Spain Supplies Weather Station For Next Mars Rover

Pits, Flows, Other Scenes In New Set Of Mars Images

NSS Calls On Congress To Pass NASA Authorization Act Of 2010

Can We Grow Crops On Other Planets

Courting India In Space

China lags in scientific literacy

NASA postpones Discovery launch to February 3

US military space UAV back on ground after 7 month mission

Roster Of Runways Ready To Bring A Shuttle Home

Demanding Design Boosts Shuttle Engine

NASA Seeks Nonprofit To Manage ISS National Lab Research

Expedition 25 Returns Home

Crews approved for space station mission

Soyuz crew land safely on earth from ISS

Russian satellites crash into Pacific: space official

NASA Sets Coverage For COTS 1 Launch

US private rocket readies key demonstration launch

Hylas-1 In Orbit Brings Europe Broadband From Space

Super-Earth Has An Atmosphere, But Is It Steamy Or Gassy

First Super-Earth Atmosphere Analyzed

Super Earth Could Be Steaming Hot Or Full Of Gas

500th 'extrasolar' planet discovered

Video games get kids to eat more veg, fruit: study

Cell phone exposure linked to bad behavior in kids: study

Google unveils new smartphone, the Nexus S

Google opens e-book store in Kindle challenge

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement