As Fordo preps to launch, Iran offers to export nuclear tech
The subterranean Fordo enrichment facility, located near Qom, will start operating in the near future, the director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) announced on Saturday as reported in the Tehran Times.
"The Fordo facility will be launched soon and will be able to produce 20 percent, 3.5 percent, and 4 percent enriched uranium," Director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Fereydoun Abbasi said during the opening ceremony of an exhibition displaying the country's nuclear achievements in the port city of Bandar Abbas.
In August 2011, the AEOI announced that it plans to transfer the production of uranium enriched to a purity level of 20 percent from the Natanz nuclear site to the Fordo enrichment facility under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and to triple the production of 20 percent enriched uranium.
Abbasi also told the Mehr News Agency on Saturday that Iran is ready to receive a delegation of IAEA officials, which are reportedly scheduled to take a trip to Iran in the near future at the invitation of Tehran.
He also said, "There has been very good cooperation between Iran and the atomic agency, and no problem has arisen so far, and this trend will continue."
Really? Well that explains the press conference later in the day in Bushehr when he announced Tehran's preparedness to export nuclear services.
"At present we are capable of exporting nuclear services to the friendly countries in Africa which own considerable uranium resources," Abbasi told reporters in the Southern port city of Bushehr on Saturday.
Noting that Iran's name has already been registered as an exporter of nuclear parts to the other countries, he also underlined Tehran's readiness to export heavy water byproducts.
Abbasi had also announced a few months ago on the sidelines of an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety in Vienna, that Iran was ready to export enriched uranium, build uranium enrichment plants abroad and advise countries importing nuclear power plants on how to write contracts protecting their rights.
Abbasi said that Iran does not currently have plans to export enriched uranium, but plans to use its domestic production for its own needs. "But if a country party to the NPT needs enriched material, we are ready to provide it, through IAEA and with IAEA verification" of peaceful use, the AEOI head said. Abbasi said he had "no specific country in mind." But he said Iran has experience and has managed to build up nuclear technology expertise "despite 30 years of sanctions."
With tensions rising around the globe about war with Iran, the end of the month looks good for a standoff in the straights. Israel and the US are planning a joint missile exercise, involving thousands of US troops are slated for starting in the next few weeks. Iran on their end have announced that the next naval war games, which will be staged by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Naval Force starting January 26th, are meant to enhance armed forces' capabilities so that they can close the Strait of Hormuz in the shortest time possible when the situation requires it.
It's going to be an interesting spring.