Amid mounting Western fears over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the Islamic Republic says it is accessing previously sealed parts of its uranium processing plant at Isfahan.
The seals had been put in place by United Nations inspectors. Iran says the UN’s nuclear watchdog has now authorized their removal. This means the facility can become fully operational. It was Monday when Isfahan resumed some nuclear activity, prompting an emergency meeting of the atomic energy watchdog, the IAEA.
Talks due to continue today have been cancelled. It is hoped they will restart tomorrow. Facing the possibility of being referred to the UN Security Council for sanctions, Iran insists it needs nuclear power as an alternative source of energy.
Its president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he has new ideas on how to resolve the nuclear standoff. This has been hailed as a positive development by US leader George W. Bush, although he says he is still “deeply suspicious” that Iran is intent on developing a nuclear weapon.