Iran’s first nuclear power station, Bushehr, has been completed and connected to the controversial country’s electric grid.
When the reactor’s generator began running at a low level in May, it quickly prompted worldwide fears that Iran was looking to build a nuclear weapons program. Tehran however says its nuclear ambitions are “purely peaceful” and that the plant is working to supply 60 megawatts of its 1,000 megawatt capacity to the national grid.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) remains unconvinced and stated that it is “increasingly concerned” that Iran is also going to, or already is, secretly creating nuclear weapons.
Like many things in Iran, the development of the Bushehr plant began in the 1970s only to have construction abandoned following the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The project was revived when Moscow negotiated a billion-dollar deal with the Iranian government to help them complete the project.
For years, Western nations have urged Russia to stop cooperating with Iran regarding its nuclear ambitions, cautioning that they were likely aiding and abetting the ability for Tehran to build illegal nuclear arms. While some fears were assuaged by the agreement of Tehran to repatriate some nuclear fuel to Russia, an IAEA report said Iran was “not implementing a number of its obligations.”
In response to Bushehr’s opening, six world powers are ramping up their efforts to negotiate with Iran over its nuclear program. Additionally the United Nations Security Council has placed sanctions on Tehran until they halt uranium enrichment, which can be used for both civilian nuclear purposes and atomic bombs.
Read more at BBC News.