Iran wants nuclear energy to generate electricity, radiopharmaceuticals: AEOI chief

Young journalists club

News ID: 53758
Iran » Iran
Publish Date: 19:45 - 03 October 2021
Sunday,3 October 2021 (YJC)_ Iran’s nuclear chief says Tehran will continue the development of its peaceful nuclear program to meet its acute need for electricity and produce radiopharmaceuticals to be used in medicine, industry, agriculture, and the environment.

Iran wants nuclear energy to generate electricity, radiopharmaceuticals: AEOI chiefIran’s Vice President and Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Mohammad Eslami made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Sputnik Iran published on Sunday in response to a question about the areas or directions identified by the body as the main priorities.

“Iran is now facing an acute need for electricity. Therefore, we have set a goal to meet 50 percent of the country’s demand for 10,000-16,000 MW of electricity by building new [nuclear] power plants with a combined capacity of 8,000 MW. This is currently the principal objective of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran,” he said.

He added that the production of radiopharmaceuticals and radiotracer generators is the AEOI’s second priority, saying such nuclear power products should be actively introduced in Iran in medicine, industry, agriculture, and the environment.

The Iranian nuclear chief said last month that Iran’s nuclear electricity production capacity should reach a target of 8 gigawatts (GW) over the short run, adding that the AEOI has plans to build several more nuclear electricity stations to hit that target. 

All countries have full right to use advanced nuclear technologies

Eslami reiterated that all countries have the full right to use advanced nuclear technologies as enshrined in the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency, calling on the IAEA to encourage countries to develop nuclear power projects and help states with the necessary expertise and technology.

“According to its statute, the IAEA should provide comprehensive support and assistance to all countries both in training and in research areas for the development of peaceful nuclear energy,” the AEOI chief said.

Iran fully localized knowledge on peaceful nuclear development, technology

The Iranian nuclear chief slammed the West’s “unfair and harsh” criticism of Iran’s progress in every sphere, and not just nuclear power, for almost 40 years. “They [the West] cannot allow other countries to have access to advanced technologies in energy. In their view, all advances and discoveries in this field should be exclusively under their banner and control.”

He described Iran as a rich country not only with natural resources but also with enormous human potential, which has allowed the country to “fully localize knowledge on the development of the peaceful atom, develop nuclear technology on its own, and establish its own scientific training base in nuclear energy.”

Eslami emphasized that Iran is a member of and will operate in accordance with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), as Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has prohibited the development of nuclear weapons. “Therefore, our nuclear program is exclusively peaceful, and we will enrich uranium in a way to avoid crossing the permissible level.”

Hostile states deliberately, illegitimately politicizing IAEA inspection of Iran’s nuclear sites

Eslami said the IAEA inspectors have been monitoring Iran’s nuclear sites for many years – in person and using surveillance cameras – in accordance with the NPT and the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (CSA).

“Unfortunately, states that are hostile to us are deliberately and illegitimately politicizing this process; it is a form of discrimination. Iran has so far shown utmost restraint to maintain its credibility.”

He emphasized that Iran has no problem or disagreement with the continuation of the IAEA inspectors’ monitoring of its nuclear facilities while the range of surveillance cameras to which the agency must have access at certain sites is fixed in the multilateral 2015 nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

He criticized the United States and European countries for failing to remain committed to their obligations as per the JCPOA, saying Iran, however, has absolutely voluntarily accepted the Additional Protocol to the NPT and hosted IAEA inspectors so as not to undermine its credibility.

Eslami added, “One has to wonder to what extent a party that has re-sanctioned us, failed to meet its obligations, withdrawn from the deal, and imposed sanctions even on those who are cooperating with us, has the right to demand additional monitoring inspections on our compliance with obligations.”

He rejected as “unjust and unconstructive” all the accusations against Iran, expressing regret that these forces want to tarnish the country’s image in the eyes of the world. “What is even more surprising is that the issue of controlling the transparency of the nuclear program is being promoted by a country that itself possesses nuclear weapons, a country that is not even a signatory to the NPT,” the AEOI head said.

In response to a question about IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi’s recent report claiming that Iran had denied the agency’s inspectors access to surveillance cameras at a nuclear facility in Karaj, Eslami said, “It should be recalled that it was the site of a terrorist attack and was destroyed in an explosion.”

“It is regrettable that neither the IAEA nor the countries that have made monitoring claims against us condemned that terrorist act… To not condemn a terrorist act at an official site under the IAEA supervision is tantamount to supporting terrorists.”

He noted that an investigation by judicial and law enforcement bodies is underway to determine the aspects of the terrorist attack on the site, saying the IAEA representatives have been informed about important details in Tehran and Vienna alike that the facility was severely destroyed, in particular in areas where the cameras were supposed to be located.

In August, the IAEA chief claimed that Iran was failing to fully comply with a joint statement issued by the two sides on September 12 by refusing to allow the agency access to the TESA Karaj Complex, a centrifuge component manufacturing workshop in north-central Iran.

According to the joint statement issued following talks between the IAEA chief and the AEOI head in Tehran, Iran agreed to allow the UN nuclear watchdog to service surveillance equipment installed at Iranian nuclear sites.

“The IAEA’s inspectors are permitted to service the identified equipment and replace their storage media, which will be kept under the joint IAEA and AEOI seals in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The way and the timing are agreed by the two sides,” the statement said.

The United States said in a statement to the IAEA’s Board of Governors later that Iran must stop denying the IAEA access to the Karaj complex or face diplomatic retaliation at the 35-nation body.

Iran has rejected the complaint by the UN nuclear watchdog about denial of access to the site, warning the agency that “wrong and spiteful” reports would disrupt constructive cooperation between the two sides.

“It is imperative that officials with the IAEA avoid taking political stances that seek certain purposes and stop [presenting] wrong and spiteful reports in order not to damage the constructive process created following recent interactions between Iran and the IAEA,” said Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman of the AEOI.

IAEA should avoid falling for tricks, becoming MKO puppet 

When asked about the IAEA chief’s call on Iran to explain the presence of uranium particles at several undeclared sites, Eslami said it was false news promoted by the anti-Iran Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) terrorist group, which keeps trying to “present some fake documents, allegedly satellite photos, the authenticity of which is not confirmed.”

“The photos were taken in the 1990s but they are presented as recent media. The IAEA, as an international body, should not fall for these tricks and become a puppet in the hands of this terrorist group,” he emphasized.

Addressing the IAEA Board of Governors in Vienna on September 13, Grossi called on Iran to provide explanations for the presence of uranium particles at several undeclared sites. “I remain deeply concerned that nuclear material has been present at undeclared locations in Iran and that the current locations of this nuclear material are not known to the agency,” the IAEA chief said.

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