Iran has announced plans to construct four new nuclear plants within the next decade, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization said this week.
Iranian officials from the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee were briefed this week by Ali Akbar Salehi on details of the nuclear deal and Iran’s next step following the signing of a nuclear deal with the P5+1.
Iran’s al-Alam news service quoted committee spokesman Nozar Shafi’i explaining that Salehi spoke of Iran’s need to find new sources of natural uranium. According to Salehi, Iranian nuclear officials have already surveyed 60 percent of the country for the rare element.
Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the deal signed between Iran and western powers, Iran must reduce its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98 percent in the next 15 years. The country must also reduce the number of active uranium-enrichment centrifuges from 20,000 to 5,000.
In return, Iran will receive major sanctions relief that is expected to pump over $100 billion into the Iranian economy.
“What Iran gained by the negotiations from the technical aspect is much more than what the negotiating team was allowed to show flexibility on,” Salehi was quoted as saying.
Iranian officials have also agreed to convert its heavy water reactor plant in Arak. Over the next 15 years, Salehi told parliament members that Iran will renew the technological capabilities of the plant, which have been operating using “40-year-old Russian technology.”
The Iran nuclear deal has come under considerable fire since its signing, with the US Congress launching its review process for the agreement. No quell fears of US allies against the deal, US Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to the Middle East to promote the agreement and meet with Egyptian and Gulf leaders. However, he will not make a visit to Israel.
On Tuesday, Israel’s Army Radio reported on a private conversation between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli officials in which he launched an attack on Kerry’s apparent snub.
Commenting on his decision to skip Israel, Netanyahu was quoted as saying, “He really has no reason to come here.” The Iran deal “has nothing to do with us, and has no influence on us,” he continued.
“We’re not at the table” where negotiations took place, Netanyahu added. “We’re one of the courses on the menu itself.”