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January 15, 2015

Iran Announces It Will Build Two Nuclear Power Plants

It looks like John Kerry is not making much headway in the talks with Iran. The talks – which fell through late last year and were renewed with a March deadline – were supposed to limit the ability for Iran to produce nuclear weapons. But on Jan. 13, Iran announced it was building two nuclear power plants. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told his state-run news agency, “The Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant is an example showing that Iran is only looking for a civilian use of the nuclear energy and for power generation.” The State Department is not alarmed, however, because building light water nuclear reactors are allowed under UN agreements. As Jeff Dunetz writes, Iran could use these new projects to justify enlarging its worrisome uranium enrichment program, instead of buying uranium like a non-threatening country. As State Department seemingly bows to the negotiation power of Iran, senators like Bob Corker (R-TN) are mulling fresh sanctions against the country. The White House says such a move may frighten Iran away from the talks. But the actions of Iran are not those of a timid country asking permission to start a nuclear program.

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