Timeline: Iran’s nuclear programme

NEW YORK (BestGrowthStock) – The United Nations Security Council voted on Wednesday to impose new sanctions on Iran. Here is a timeline of Iran and its nuclear programme since it revealed the existence of a second enrichment plant in 2009:

September 25, 2009 – The IAEA says Iran has told it about a second uranium enrichment plant being built. Construction of the plant, near the city of Qom, began in 2006.

October 1 – Iran meets six world powers in Geneva. Iran accepts a plan at the talks to send 75 percent of its low-enriched uranium (LEU) to Russia and France. There it would be made into special fuel for a Tehran reactor making medical materials.

October 21 – IAEA presents draft deal to reduce Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium.

October 25 – U.N. nuclear experts inspect the newly disclosed centrifuge plant being built near the Shi’ite holy city of Qom. The site will refine uranium for civilian nuclear energy.

October 30 – Iran tells IAEA it wants fresh nuclear fuel for a reactor in Tehran before it will agree to ship some enriched uranium stocks to Russia and France, according to the U.N.

November 18 – Iran says that Tehran will not send its enriched uranium abroad for further processing but would consider swapping it for nuclear fuel within its borders.

November 19 – U.S. President Barack Obama issues a strong warning to Iran of the consequences of its failure to respond to the nuclear deal.

November 24 – World powers have drafted an IAEA resolution urging Iran to clarify the purpose of its previously secret uranium enrichment site, diplomats say.

November 26 – Outgoing U.N. nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei criticizes Iran’s blockage of a plan to divest it of possible nuclear bomb material as “disappointing.”

November 27 – The IAEA votes to censure Iran for developing the Fordow uranium enrichment plant near Qom in secret and demands Iran freezes the project.

November 29 – Iran announces plans to build 10 more nuclear sites in a swipe at growing pressure to rein in its atomic work.

January 19, 2010 – Diplomats say Iran has formally rejected key parts of the deal to send abroad for processing most of its material that could be used to make nuclear arms.

February 2 – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announces Iran is ready to send its enriched uranium abroad in what appears to be an easing of its position. The next day it launches a Kavoshgar-3 rocket capable of carrying a satellite, a move Washington describes as a “provocative act.”

February 9 – Iran begins making higher-grade nuclear fuel, enriched to a level of 20 percent, at its Natanz facility.

February 18 – In unusually blunt language, an IAEA report, for the first time, suggests Iran is actively pursuing nuclear weapons capability.

March 9 – Gabi Ashkenazi, chief of staff of Israel’s armed forces, says on a visit to New York that all options “should remain on the table” to force Iran to stop its programme.

March 18 – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, visiting Russia, criticizes Russia’s plans to start up a nuclear power station in Iran, describing them as premature given uncertainty about Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

— Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced the same day that Russia would start up the reactor at the Bushehr plant in the summer of 2010.

March 25 – The U.S., Britain, France and Germany begin talks with China and Russia on a U.S.-drafted proposal for a new round of U.N. sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme.

April 2 – Iran and China agree during talks in Beijing that sanctions “have lost their effectiveness,” chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili says after meeting Chinese officials.

April 9 – Ahmadinejad showcases an improved centrifuge which officials say will enrich uranium faster than existing models. He also says Iran’s nuclear path is irreversible.

April 12 – Obama’s drive for tougher sanctions on Iran gains momentum at the start of an unprecedented two-day summit of nearly 50 countries that Obama has called to highlight the global threat of nuclear terrorism.

April 19 – Iran says it will start work on a new uranium enrichment plant as part of a big expansion of its nuclear programme announced last November.

April 27 – Brazil has offered to mediate to help end the West’s standoff with Iran over its nuclear programme, Foreign Minister Celso Amorim says.

— He said Brazil could work with Turkey, which has already offered to help, and act as an honest broker. May 12 – U.N. resolutions aimed at increasing sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme “are not worth a penny” and Tehran will give no ground to pressure, Ahmadinejad says. The remarks come as the six powers continue to work on a new draft sanctions resolution, meeting in New York.

May 17 – Iran, Brazil and Turkey sign a nuclear fuel swap agreement. Iran says it has agreed to transfer 1.2 tonnes (2,646 lb) of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey within a month in return for higher-enriched nuclear fuel for a medical research reactor.

May 18 – The U.S. hands the U.N. Security Council a draft resolution that will expand U.N. sanctions against Iran by hitting its banking and other industries.

May 19 – The draft resolution against Iran has no legitimacy, the Fars news agency says, quoting an Ahmadinejad ally.

May 31 – A new IAEA report shows Iran’s low-enriched uranium stockpile has grown to 2.4 tonnes, so that even if the 1.2 tonnes was shipped out now it would still leave Iran enough material for a nuclear weapon if enriched to higher levels.

June 2 – Iran is enriching nuclear material to higher levels as a backup plan as it fears it will not receive foreign fuel for a medical research reactor, Tehran’s envoy to the IAEA says.

June 9 – The U.N. votes to extend sanctions against Iran.

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Timeline: Iran’s nuclear programme