Just days after talks regarding its controversial nuclear power program stalled, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hailed new advances in the program. Iran unveiled a new production facility for uranium and two mines for extraction. The Iranian president hailed the new sites and boasted of a mastery over the nuclear energy chain, while demanding that Iranian workers accelerate their work.
The president’s announcements come only days after more talks between Iran and six of the world’s powers failed to yield an agreement in Almaty, last Friday and Saturday.
The two mines located in Saghand operate 350 meters below the earth’s surface and are less than 120 km from the new uranium facility located in Ardakan, in the province of Yazd in central Iran.
Few details were released on state television about the facility in Ardakan, but the report said it estimated annual output to be 60 tons of “yellowcake,” the impure state of the uranium oxide that is used in the enrichment process.
Iran continues to struggle under worldwide sanctions imposed by a number of world powers for the nuclear enrichment program in the country.
Iran rejected on Monday a call be five of the permanent Security Council members at the UN plus Germany, commonly referred to as the P5+1 to halt the nuclear work in the country in exchange for relaxing some of the sanctions.
Iran sent a counter offer to the P5+1 proposing recognition for the country’s right to enrich its uranium.
Western powers and Iran neighbor Israel fear Tehran is developing its own atomic bomb.