The United States on Wednesday, Feb 15 downplayed Iran’s latest announcement of nuclear progress, saying Tehran’s reported advances were “not terribly new and not terribly impressive.”
“We frankly don’t see a lot new here. This is not big news. In fact it seems to have been hyped,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told journalists, Reuters reported.
Iran has claimed that it achieved major advances in its program to master production of nuclear fuel, in response to increasingly tough Western sanctions over its nuclear program.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Wednesday inaugurated three new nuclear projects, in a ceremony that was broadcast live on state television network IRIB. At the Iranian Atomic Organization in Tehran, Ahmadinejad witnessed the insertion of Iran’s first home-made nuclear fuel rods into a medical reactor. The President then opened, via a video-conference link-up, two other projects in the Natanz plant in central Iran.
Meanwhile, Iranian officials indicated that they were on the verge of imposing an oil embargo on European countries to retaliate for the sanctions, but denied reports that six nations had already been cut off.