France warns of more pressure as Iran develops Arak nuclear plant

PARIS, June 10 (KUNA) — France warned Iran on Monday that it would face increasing diplomatic pressure, and presumably more sanctions, if it continued with its illegal nuclear programmes and refused to “hear the message of unity and firmness” from the international community.

The French Foreign Ministry again reminded Iran that certain of the activities it was pursuing in its nuclear programme were forbidden by the UN Security Council and the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

In response to KUNA questions, Foreign Ministry spokesman Philippe Lalliot said that the UN and the IAEA “demand the suspension of all Iranian activities linked with heavy water” and warned that Iranian moves to further develop the Arak heavy water plant would again violate UN resolutions and would be “an additional provocation gesture”.

Iran announced this weekend that it was installing a new tank or vessel in the Arak plant, which would move it further on the way to building a reactor at the site.

Coupled with Iran’s illegal uranium enrichment activity – condemned by the UN Security Council and the IAEA – the latest developments at the Arak plant are causing concern as they could facilitate the production of plutonium which could be diverted for nuclear weapons.

Iran says it will not produce plutonium but will only produce medical isotopes at the Arak site, yet Western powers and others are more and more sceptical about Iranian intentions.

“The construction of a heavy water reactor at Arak is very worrying and would allow Iran, once the reactor is operational, to produce plutonium,” Lalliot responded.

Lalliot appeared to refute Iranian claims that it would cooperate on inspections of the Arak facility by IAEA inspectors.

The IAEA has said that “Iranian cooperation with the Agency has, for a long time, been insufficient with regard to the heavy water reactor at Arak (and) Iran has refused since 2006 to give up-to-date information on the design of the reactor,” the French official pointed out.

Iran, “for over two years now has forbidden any access to the heavy water production factory” at Arak, he added.

Lalliot further affirmed that despite its claims, Iran has never shown that its heavy water and uranium enrichment activities had a civilian end use. There are growing concerns that Iran has being doing tests in the military domain, even if Tehran denies this.

“We call on Iran to hear the message of unity and firmness regarding the Iranian shortcomings,” Lalliot stated. “Failing this, the diplomatic pressure on Iran will continue to increase”.

The UN Security Council has passed four resolutions against Iran regarding its nuclear activities since 2006 and several countries, led by the United States and the EU, have put sanctions on the Iranian regime and its entities, including an oil embargo against Iranian product.

By Kuwait News Agency


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