Iran Boasts of Plans to Build 10 New Nuclear Fuel Plants and Deploy Missile Defense System

February 8, 2010

(ChattahBox) – As it faces domestic political discord and stepped up international talk of tightening economic sanctions, Iran’s power elite continue to beat the drums of military advances.  The country’s defense minister Ahmad Vahidi says it will soon deploy a missile defense system more powerful than the Russian S-300 system ordered from Russia in 2007 that has yet to arrive.  “In the near future, a new domestically-made air defense system will be unveiled by the country’s experts and scientists which is as powerful as the S-300 system, or even stronger,” IRNA quoted commander Heshmatollah Kassiri who gave more details.

He said the delay in the implementation of the S-300 delivery contract was unacceptable, and Iran would do everything possible to protect its “sensitive nuclear centers.”

Moscow has refused so far to honor the S-300 contract due to pressure from Washington and Tel Aviv.  In addition Iran says it has launched two production lines for unmanned aircraft with surveillance and attack capabilities. The two types of drones will be called Ra’d (meaning thunder) and Nazir (herald).  Iran on Sunday also successfully tested the prototype of its first domestically-built stealth drone, called Sofreh Mahi.

Also, Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, announced that Tehran has informed the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog that it intends to launch construction of 10 new nuclear fuel plants in the Persian calendar year starting March 2010. Those seemingly overly ambitious plans also call for producing 20% enriched uranium to provide fuel for a Tehran medical reactor.  Up until now, Iran has only produced reactor-grade 3.5% enriched uranium and has managed to build only one functioning nuclear fuel plant.

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