U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today said the United States condemns the Iranian Government’s decision to begin enrichment operations at its Qom facility.
“The decision is an act contrary to its obligations under multiple United Nations Security Council and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors resolutions. This step once again demonstrates the Iranian regime’s blatant disregard for its responsibilities and that the country’s growing isolation is self-inflicted.” -Ms. Clinton
She noted that the circumstances surrounding the latest action are especially troubling. She said Iran only declared the Qom facility to the IAEA after it was discovered by the international community following three years of covert construction.
She cited that Iran has announced it intends to consolidate and increase its production of uranium enriched to a near 20 percent level at the facility.
“There is no plausible justification for this production. Such enrichment brings Iran a significant step closer to having the capability to produce weapons-grade highly enriched uranium.” -Ms. Clinton
She stated that Iran claims that the decision was necessary to produce fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR).
“This is false. The P5+1 has offered alternatives for providing fuel for the TRR despite Iran’s longstanding refusal to fulfill its international nuclear obligations. Iran has refused these offers.” -Ms. Clinton
Ms. Clinton calls upon Iran to immediately cease uranium enrichment and to comply with its international nuclear obligations.
She also calls on Iran to return to negotiations with the P5+1, prepared to engage seriously on its nuclear program, and urge Iran to reply to this effect to High Representative Ashton’s letter from October 2011.
“We reaffirm that our overall goal remains a comprehensive, negotiated solution that restores confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program while respecting Iran’s right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy consistent with its obligations under the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).” -Ms. Clinton