Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • UN Security Council calls for immediate Gaza ceasefire

    Read more

  • France mourns victims of Air Algérie Flight AH5017

    Read more

  • France calls on its nationals to leave Libya as violence escalates

    Read more

  • Video: Slaviansk mourns mass grave victims

    Read more

  • Nibali joins elite group with Tour de France win

    Read more

  • Boko Haram kidnap Cameroon minister's wife in deadly attack

    Read more

  • Muslims prepare for Eid al-Fitr festival

    Read more

  • ‘Irresponsible’ American dad tries to scale Mont Blanc with children

    Read more

  • Ukraine fighting prevents observers from accessing MH17 crash site

    Read more

  • In pictures: Crowds flock to enjoy the Tour de France show

    Read more

  • Netanyahu says Hamas 'violating its own ceasefire'

    Read more

  • Video: At the scene of the Air Algérie crash in Mali

    Read more

  • Costa Concordia arrives in port of Genoa to be scrapped

    Read more

  • In pictures: Youths clash with police at banned Gaza protest

    Read more

  • Russia lashes out at new EU sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • Bodies of all Air Algérie crash victims to be brought to France

    Read more

  • Syrian army and ISIS both claim advances

    Read more

  • Briton kidnapped in Yemen freed after five months

    Read more

  • New round of Gaza ceasefire talks takes place in Paris

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Western powers demand access after Iran reveals new enrichment site

Video by Aurore Cloe DUPUIS

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-09-25

The US, Britain, France and Germany threatened new sanctions on Iran and demanded a new probe of its nuclear programme by the UN International Atomic Energy Agency Friday, after Tehran revealed it has a second nuclear enrichment plant.

AFP - The United States, Britain and France Friday demanded immediate access to a secret nuclear site revealed by Iran, dramatically heightening a showdown driven by fears Tehran is seeking atomic weapons.

   
In a hastily convened appearance at the G20 summit, US President Barack Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown threatened tough sanctions if Iran failed to open the plant to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections.
   

"We expect the IAEA to immediately investigate this disturbing information and to report to the IAEA board of governors," Obama said, styling the new plant as a "direct challenge" to international non-proliferation rules.
   
He said that at a meeting between Iran and world powers on October 1 in Geneva, the Islamic Republic must be ready to cooperate fully with the IAEA or face further isolation.
   
Obama said the secret facility had being built for several years inside a mountain near the holy city of Qom, 160 kilometers (100 miles) south of Tehran. Iran already has one enrichment plant at Natanz.
   
"The size and configuration of this facility is inconsistent with a peaceful program," Obama warned.
   
"The existence of this facility underscores Iran's continuing unwillingness to meet its obligations under UN Security Council resolutions and IAEA requirements.
   
"The Iranian government must now demonstrate through deeds, its peaceful intentions or be held accountable to international standards and international law."
   
The IAEA earlier said Iran had sent a letter on September 21 to inform the watchdog "that a new pilot fuel enrichment plant is under construction in the country," agency spokesman Marc Vidricaire said in a statement.
   
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the discovery of the plant would "shock and anger" the international community, while Sarkozy warned in his own tough remarks that Iran would face harsh sanctions by December if it did not act.
   
Obama, came to office offering a broad dialogue with Iran, but his offer has been shunned by the government in Tehran, but he said he remained committed to "meaningful" dialogue between Iran and world powers.
   
The UN Security Council has already imposed three rounds of sanction on Iran for refusing to stop uranium enrichment, a key stage in making a bomb as well as other nuclear applications.
   
The West accuses Iran of seeking the atomic bomb and is pressing for even tougher sanctions, but Tehran insists its activities are entirely peaceful.
   
Vidricaire said: "the IAEA has requested Iran to provide specific information and access to the facility as soon as possible."
   
The French Foreign Ministry accused Iran of committing a "serious violation" of UN resolutions with the admission of a second uranium plant. "This strengthens our suspicions," said foreign ministry spokeswoman Christine Fages.
   
Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States are to hold nuclear talks with Iran on the nuclear program in Geneva on October 1.
   
Pressure has increased with Russia indicating that it could agree to tougher sanctions.
   
No nuclear material has yet been introduced into the new enrichment plant under construction, the IAEA said.
   
Furthermore, Iran told the agency that "the enrichment level would be up to 5.0 percent," which is a low level of enrichment and not sufficiently high to make the fissile material for an atomic bomb.
   
Low enriched uranium is used to make nuclear fuel.
   
"Iran assured the agency in the letter that 'further complementary information will be provided in an appropriate and due time'," Vidricaire said.
   
The Natanz plant comprises a huge underground hall, under daily surveillance by IAEA inspectors, where more than 8,000 centrifuges are installed, machines that rotate at supersonic speed to refine uranium.
   
More than half of the centrifuges -- nearly 5,000 -- are currently actively enriching uranium.

Date created : 2009-09-25

COMMENT(S)