Where: Tehran, Iran

February 26, 2009 : Bushehr, located on Iran’s Gulf coast, houses the country’s first nuclear facility. It was inaugurated with much ceremony, but will only become fully functional later in the year. The 1000-megawatt reactor was built with Russian help. Russia is a permanent member of the United Nations security council, which has repeatedly imposed *economic sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program. The Russian government has stressed that Bushehr is a civilian facility which cannot be used to make bombs.

The United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency said in a report that Iran has enough enriched uranium to build a nuclear weapon. When uranium is enriched to a low level, it becomes fuel for a nuclear reactor. When it is enriched to a higher level, it can be used to build nuclear weapons. Iran denied that its nuclear program has anything to do with weaponry. Nuclear power, according to the Iran government, is to be used solely for the purposes of generating electricity. However, Iran is the world’s fourth largest producer of oil and is not short of fuel. West Asia has long been a war zone, and a nuclear weapon in such a volatile area would be a danger to the entire world.

The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation said, “America should face reality and accept living with a nuclear Iran.” This could be a reference to the U.S.A’s long war on Iraq, fought on the basis that Iraq had accumulated nuclear weapons of mass destruction. The U.S. President Barack Obama has said he is open to the idea of talks with the Iranian government.

*This means a blockade on trade with Iran.

279 words | 2 minutes
Readability: Grade 8 (13-14 year old children)
Based on Flesch–Kincaid readability scores

Filed under: world news
Tags: #nations, #russians, #weapon

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