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. Breaking them means the facility can become fully operational. It was Monday when Isfahan resumed some nuclear activity, prompting an emergency meeting of the UN atomic energy watchdog, the IAEA.
But as talks continue today, Iran’s announcement can only raise concern. So far it had not broken any UN seals at the plant. 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 sign by George W. Bush, although the US leader says he is still “deeply suspicious” that Iran is intent on developing a nuclear weapon.