Vast uranium reserve discovered in Iran

Sep 12, 2015 12:00 AM

Only two months after the signing of the nuclear agreement between Iran and the world powers, the Islamic Republic announced that it has found a vast reserve of uranium - a key ingredient in its nuclear program.

Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi announced that his country has found an unexpectedly large uranium reserve and will soon start extracting radioactive material from it. The announcement comes as a great cause for concern for many officials in the West, as the discovered material is a key ingredient in the Iranian nuclear program.

Western experts have estimated in the past that Iran’s uranium supply was too low and the country would sooner or later be forced to import the raw material. The fact that Iran can now operate more independently is expected to lead to an increase in international inspection by the world powers, who signed the nuclear agreement with representatives of the Islamic Republic only two months ago.

In a press conference held in Iran, Salehi stated that he could still not reveal the amount of uranium found but that the discovery gave him great confidence. Salehi added that Iran will continue its search for further uranium reserves within the country over the next four years, after about two thirds of Iran has already been examined.

Western analysts have claimed in recent years that Iran is close to finishing its reserves of yellowcake – raw uranium – and that local mining was not lucrative for the country, thusing forcing them to import it according to a supervised mechanism agreed upon in the nuclear deal. According to Salehi, now with the new reserves discovered, Iran plans to begin mining in the coming months.

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