Tags: iran | biden | trump | obama | nuclear | deal | usa

Report: Iran Launches Construction Plans for $2B Nuclear Power Facility

By    |   Monday, 05 December 2022 04:39 PM EST

Iran began construction on a new nuclear plant in the country's southwest region over the weekend, according to Iranian state TV.

The announcement comes on the heels of U.S. officials teasing the end of discussions to revive the so-called Iran Nuclear Deal — which had been a staple of the Obama administration, but was ultimately rescinded by then-President Donald Trump.

Iran has also made worldwide headlines for the national protests taking place from within the country, with citizens challenging Iran's theocratic government.

Media reports estimate the new Iran nuclear plant — a 300-megawatt facility, otherwise known as Karoon — will be completed sometime around 2030 with a projected price tag of $2 billion.

The general site will be in Iran's oil-rich Khuzestan province, which is located near the western border of Iraq.

Among the attendees for the plant's inauguration ceremony: Mohammed Eslami, head of Iran's civilian Atomic Energy Organization, who unveiled construction plans for Karoon back in April.

The Karoon plant, upon completion, would serve as Iran's second above-ground nuclear facility. The inaugural plant, built in the southern port of Bushehr, went online in 2011 "with help from Russia," according to Politico.

Politico also reports that Iran has "several" underground nuclear facilities.

Last month, Iranian officials stated the country had begun producing enriched uranium at 60% purity — a significant step in Iran's hopes of someday possessing the infrastructure for a nuclear weapon.

According to Politico, "enrichment to 60% purity is one short, technical step away from weapons-grade levels of 90%."

For the Obama-era Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action pact from 2015 (JCPOA), or Iran Nuclear Deal, Iran agreed to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium and also cut its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98%.

In return, the Iranian leaders reportedly collected $150 billion from other countries, including the United States.

Back in July, former national security adviser John Bolton — who briefly served in the Trump administration — warned that diplomacy alone would not be an effective deterrent in defusing Iran's ever-expanding nuclear capabilities.

Iran's nuclear program, "as we know it, is extremely vulnerable," Bolton told Newsmax then, while brainstorming ways to vanquish the country's means for uranium enrichment and then converting the uranium to a gas-like state.

The reason for such vulnerabilities: Bolton believes the current Iranian regime, led by President Ebrahim Raisi, doesn't have the unwavering support of its citizens.

"I think the regime is more fragile today than any point of the [Iranian Revolution]" in 1979, says Bolton. "The current regime has never been more unpopular" in the rural and suburban-like communities.

"Obviously, the revolutionary guards still have the weapons," added Bolton. "This is not something that can happen without them fragmenting. But that possibility is very much there."

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Iran began construction on a new nuclear plant in the country's southwest region over the weekend, according to Iranian state TV.
iran, biden, trump, obama, nuclear, deal, usa
Monday, 05 December 2022 04:39 PM
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