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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)




Nuclear Weapons - 2010 Developments

On 2 January 2010 Iran warned that the West had until the end of the month to accept Tehran's counterproposal to a U.N.-drafted plan on a nuclear exchange, or they would start to produce nuclear fuel on their own.

On 4 January 2010 both the U.S. and France dismissed Iran’s counterproposal to buy enriched uranium or to exchange the uranium on Kish Island.

On 11 January 2010 a top U.S. general said Washington had developed what he described as a "contingency" plan to deal with Iran's nuclear program if diplomacy and sanctions failed to rein in the Iranian program. There was no further description of what this plan entailed.

On 2 February 2010 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country was ready to send uranium abroad for further enrichment, in accordance with a U.N.-backed plan. This plan constituted that Iran would send 70% of its uranium supply abroad to be further processed.

On 7 February 2010 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ordered the further enrichment of his nation's uranium, just days after he said he was open to a U.N. plan to enrich the material abroad.

On 10 February 2010 the United States targeted the affiliates of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps with new sanctions designed to curtail the activities of individuals and companies involved in Iran's nuclear and missile program. The U.S. Treasury Department announced it was freezing the assets of Revolutionary Guard General Rostam Qasemi and four subsidiaries of a construction company he oversaw for the military.

On 11 February 2010 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Iran managed to deliver the first batch of 20 percent fuel yesterday to produce isotopes. He said in the near future the amount of the fuel delivery would increase three-fold.

On 16 February 2010 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Iran had tested a new generation of centrifuges whose capacities were five times of the previous ones.

On 18 February 2010 the IAEA chief director released a report on Iran’s nuclear program. The report stated that Iran had not provided the necessary cooperation to permit the Agency to confirm that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.

On 20 February 2010 Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mihman-Parast said that Iran is to produce nuclear fuel plates within the coming four months.

On 24 February 2010 Japan offered to provide Iran with enriched uranium to ease international concerns over the Islamic Republic's controversial nuclear program.

On 1 March 2010 Russian President Dmitri Medvedev said his country was ready to consider new sanctions against Iran if persuasion failed to stop it from enriching uranium.

On 7 March 2010 the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Ali-Akbar Salehi, said that Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant had passed main tests and it was undergoing the final stages of a safety test.

On 9 March 2010 Iran's first nuclear power plant, Bushehr, was planned to be launched in 2010 with no specific date, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. The launch date had been postponed many times over financial and technical problems and amid Iranian statements that Russia was reluctant to finish the facility due to UN sanctions and suspicions of a covert nuclear weapons program.

On 14 March 2010 France's foreign minister said that European states could impose unilateral sanctions on Iran if the United Nations failed to pass its own sanctions.

On 18 March 2010 First Vice President of Iran announced that new nuclear reactors would be built in Iran during 2011, and the country would continue its path regardless of any interference.

On 24 March 2010 Britain's U.N. ambassador said senior officials of the six major powers held a conference call on possible new U.N. sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program.

On 7 April 2010 the president of Russia's nuclear fuel producer TVEL stated that they planned to deliver its next fuel shipment to Iran's nuclear power plant, Bushehr, a year after the plant began operations.

On 9 April 2010 the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization said that Iran tested its third generation of enrichment centrifuges. Ali Akbar Salehi said the new centrifuges, each 200 millimeters in diameter, were ten times as powerful as the ones that were in operation at the Natanz uranium enrichment plant.

On 12 April 2010 the Bushehr project manager said that Iran started the final test of equipment at the country's first nuclear power plant. The manager stated that the warm-water test would be completed within the month. "After the test, nuclear fuel would be inserted into the reactor, and this would put Iran among the members of the world's nuclear club," he said.

On 14 April 2010 world leaders discussed the possibility of fresh sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program. U.S. President Barack Obama said the United States pushed for strong and timely sanctions that would have consequences.

On 19 April 2010 an advisor to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated that Tehran had begun work on a new uranium enrichment plant. The timing of the announcement came a day after the close of a much-touted conference on nuclear disarmament in Tehran.

On 28 April 2010 the U.S. State Department said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad applied to visit the United States as part of an Iranian delegation to a U.N. nuclear conference in New York.

On 3 May 2010 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused Western powers of double standards concerning nuclear non-proliferation. In response to the accusations, the delegations of the U.S., Britain and France walked out of the UN General Assembly Hall in New York.

On 16 May 2010 Brazilian President Inacio Lula da Silva met with both Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as the outside world focused on whether a deal over a long-stalled nuclear fuel-swap would be reached.

On 17 May 2010 Iran agreed to a deal to send low-enriched uranium (LEU) abroad in return for nuclear fuel, after mediation talks with Turkish and Brazilian leaders. Their plan could have revived a United Nations-backed proposal for easing the international standoff over Iran's disputed nuclear program.

On 18 May 2010 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that the United States and other major world powers had agreed on a draft resolution that would impose a fourth round of United Nations sanctions on Iran.

On 24 May 2010 Iran submitted a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency which outlined an agreement to send its enriched uranium abroad. The agreement entailed that Iran was to send its low grade uranium to Turkey for processing, then the uranium would go to Brazil for further enrichment.

On 7 June 2010 the UN atomic watchdog began a week-long meeting in Vienna, with Iran's controversial nuclear program at the top of the agenda.

On 9 June 2010 the United Nations Security Council approved a fourth round of sanctions against Iran for its controversial nuclear program. Twelve of the 15 Council members voted for the sanctions resolution. Brazil and Turkey voted "no" and Lebanon abstained from voting.

On 16 June 2010 Iranian Vice-President and Head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi said the designing of a new powerful research reactor had started. The location of the plant was not determined.

On 17 June 2010 European Union leaders agreed to impose new sanctions on Iran – they joined the United States and the United Nations in order to place additional pressure on Tehran over its nuclear program. The EU measures that were approved included a ban on new investment, technical assistance and transfers of technologies to Iran's key oil and natural gas sector. The sanctions were designed to put significant financial pressure on Iran, which held some of the largest natural gas reserves in the world.

On 21 June 2010 the head of Iran's nuclear energy agency said that two United Nations inspectors had been barred from entering Iran because they presented what he described as "false information" on Iran's nuclear work.

On 23 June 2010 Iran's atomic energy chief stated that his country had enriched 17 kilograms of uranium to 20 percent purity, as the United Nations and others increased sanctions against the country to pressure it to curtail its nuclear program.




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