Nuclear Program of Iran

The nuclear program of Iran was launched in the 1950s with the help of the United States as part of the Atoms for Peace program. The participation of the United States and Western European governments in Iran's nuclear program continued until the 1979 Iranian Revolution that toppled the Shah of Iran.

After the 1979 revolution, the clandestine research program was disbanded by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who had serious religious reservations about nuclear weapons, which he considered evil in terms of Muslim jurisprudence. Small scale research restarted during the Iran-Iraq War, and underwent significant expansion after the Ayatollah's death in 1989. Iran's nuclear program has included several research sites, two uranium mines, a research reactor, and uranium processing facilities that include three known uranium enrichment plants.

Iran's first nuclear power plant, Bushehr I reactor was complete with major assistance of Russian government agency Rosatom and officially opened on 12 September 2011. Iran has announced that it is working on a new 360 MW nuclear power plant to be located in Darkhovin. Iran has also indicated that it will seek more medium-sized nuclear power plants and uranium mines in the future.

In November 2011, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors rebuked Iran following an IAEA report indicating Iran had undertaken research and experiments geared to developing a nuclear weapons capability. For the first time, the IAEA report outlines, in depth, the country’s detonator development, the multiple-point initiation of high explosives, and experiments involving nuclear payload integration into a missile delivery vehicle. Iran rejected the details of the report and accused the IAEA of pro-Western bias and threatened to reduce its cooperation with the IAEA.

Read more about Nuclear Program Of Iran:  Overview, Laptop and Research & Development in Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Facilities in Iran

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