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'New nuclear plant being built in Isfahan'
By JPOST.COM STAFF
12/15/2011
Tehran says facility will be completed within 3 years, to be located in province rocked by explosion last month.
 
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.

Avaz 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.

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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.

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