Iran shows iron resolve to continue its nuclear agenda unabated
Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 20 / Trend S.Isayev/
By announcing latest achievements in nuclear sphere against the backdrop of draconian sanctions on the country's oil industry and central bank, Tehran is showing its iron resolve to continue its nuclear agenda unabated, Fellow for Science and Technology at the Federation of American Scientists, Ali Vaez told Trend.
The expert believes that by announcing latest nuclear achievements, Iran was to send distinct message to the West.
A week ago Iran has unveiled new achievements of its nuclear program, one of which was a successful placement of a domestically-produced nuclear rod into the Amirabad nuclear reactor.
The ceremony took place in Tehran's Nuclear Facility in Amirabad, in presence of country's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and other government officials, as well as nuclear scientists and journalists.
"By demonstrating indigenous capability to manufacture fuel rods, Tehran is signaling that what was considered an important bargaining chip for the West is no longer an option," Vaez said.
He added that by showcasing its mastery of the nuclear fuel cycle, the Iranian government wants to increase its leverage at the negotiating table.
According to Vaez, Iran's nuclear progress is in fact much slower than the local government would like it to be.
"Iran is seeking to project strength," Vaez noted. "If the West presumes that a weak Iran is more amenable to compromise, next round of negotiations is doomed to fail."
Vaez added that Washington continues to tighten the screws with additional sanctions, however this policy is unlikely to change Iran's nuclear calculus.
Iran says its nuclear program is confined to production of peaceful atomic energy which it says is a fundamental right of any country. Western nations and Israel have charged that Tehran is secretly working to build nuclear weapons - an assertion Iran vehemently denies.
Tensions in the region over Iran's nuclear activities have been on the rise in recent months as speculation has mounted that Israel may be preparing for a strike on Iranian facilities that the Jewish state says constitute a threat to its national security.