An Iranian lawmaker said Thursday that the Islamic Republic has begun construction on a new nuclear plant in Isfahan, where a mysterious explosion reportedly occurred at the site of a nuclear facility last month.RELATED:US House passes bill to expand sanctions on Iran'Iran may launch new uranium enrichment facility'US fears Iran weeks from producing 20% enriched uranium
Heidarpour, a member of Iran's Majlis Committee on National Security
and Foreign Policy, was quoted by Press TV as saying the site was
under construction in the city of Shahreza in the Isfahan province.
According to Heidarpour, the new plant's objective will be to meet the
country's demand for civilian nuclear products.
The Iranian lawmaker stated that the facility would be completed within the next three years.
He said that the site would help serve Iran's medical and agricultural needs.
The Times of London reported shortly after the mysterious blast
that hit Isfahan on Novemebr 28 that a nuclear facility in the city was damaged in the explosion.
The report quoted Israeli intelligence officials as saying that there
was "no doubt" that the blast damaged a uranium enrichment site, and
asserted that it was "no accident."
Officials from Isfahan denied that the city had been hit by an explosion.
Two weeks prior to the Isfahan explosion, on November 12
an explosion hit an Iranian military base near the town of Bid Kaneh,
killing 17 members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and
Maj.-Gen. Hassan Moghaddam, chief architect of the Islamic Republic’s
ballistic missile program. Israel’s Mossad has been accused of
orchestrating the blast.
Head of the Military Intelligence Research Directorate Brig.-Gen. Itay
Brun told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the
November 12 blast at the missile base could delay Tehran’s development
of long-range missiles.
“The explosion at the site to develop surface-to-surface missiles could
stop or delay activities on that track and in that location, but we must
emphasize that Iran has other development tracks in addition to that
facility,” Brun said.