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Iran’s other nuclear plant

01/10/2009

After 14 months of silence, themeeting between Iran and the 6(Russia, China, France, US, UK and Germany) comes after a week full of surprises.

Last Friday, Iran disclosed that it was building a second nuclear facility in Qom.On Monday, Tehran tested its new missile the Shahab -3 despite the nuclear dispute.

And yesterday, though the news didn’t really get out of France yet, the satirical weekly newspaper “Le Canard Enchaîné” revealed that Iran owns about 10% of the uranium enrichment plant Tricastin which produces 25% of the global enriched uranium production.

The factory which belongs to Areva supplies a hundred nuclear power plants in the world and 58 French ones.  Areva says that “Iran never received a single gram of uranium from France” and insists there hasn’t been any nuclear “technology transfers” between the two countries.
Tehran contributed more than one billion dollars to the construction of the uranium enrichment plant back in 1974 by signing an agreement on civil nuclear with Paris.

Just 35 years ago though, the Shah, then a US ally, was deemed a visionary when he ambitioned “producing, as soon as possible, 23 000 megawatts of electricity using nuclear plants.” He had even approved plans to construct, with US help, up to 23 nuclear power stations by the year 2000.

After the 1979 Revolution France refused to give any enriched uranium to Iran. But Iran didn’t get back his investments in the plant either.

Today Iran is still economically cooperating to French nuclear enrichment. Meanwhile France is hoping to forbid Iran to produce any uranium “it’s a matter of peace and stability” Sarkozy said in Pittsburgh at the G20.

Oh well, “l’argent n’a pas d’odeur”…