Gulf countries express fear of Iran’s nuclear facilities

iran-nuclearThe United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have showed concerns about the safety of Iran’s Bushehr nuclear plant, following reports that the last earthquakes damaged it. Countries in the gulf are seeking an explanation from Iran and they have made their worries known at the Board of Governors of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna.
Nuclear incidents have not left behind pleasant memories. Indeed, a diplomat stated that several regional capitals are close to Bushehr and, they all “share the same concern because of the geographical proximity” to the plant. Powerful earthquakes shook Iran in the past two months and many people lost their lives. However, Iran and the Russian manufacturers claim that the plants were not affected.
A Diplomat who want to remain anonymous, said there are reports from several countries monitoring the site indicating that one concrete section of the structure had developed cracks several meters long, after quakes on April 9 and 16. When confronted with the matter, Iran’s delegate to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said he knows nothing about the Bushehr plant. The reactors at these facilities can withstand a magnitude 8 earthquake according to Iran and the most powerful in April measured magnitude 7, 7.
Gulf countries heavily criticize Tehran’s decision to add reactors at Bushehr shortly after the earthquakes took place. They are urging Iran to join the Convention on Nuclear Safety, negotiated in 1994 after the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl as it remains to be the sole country that did not sign the convention while operating a nuclear reactor.
Iran queries that Russian manufacturers are overseeing safety measures and they expect them “to apply the highest safety standards in this reactor and therefore it is their responsibility.”

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