Weekly roundup

Articles and reports from the past week
“Pipeline deal with Pakistan part of Iran’s strong push in gas sector”
Iran signed an agreement with Pakistan for a $7.6-billion pipeline connecting the South Pars gas field with Pakistan’s Baluchistan and Sindh provinces (Reuters). Last week, Iran’s Bank Mellat issued a first installment of 1 billion Eurobonds to fund development of the South Pars gas field, and officials announced Iran would spend $1.6 billion on development projects in the gas sector this year (Daily Star).

“Angarsk nuclear fuel bank initiative moving ahead”
The IAEA is moving toward creating an international nuclear fuel bank for the UAE and other emerging nuclear states with 120 tons of LEU from Russia (The National). Russian officials have announced their intention to provide the first batch of LEU by the end of 2010 (RIA Novosti), and India stated its interest in participating as a donor country (RIA Novosti (2)).
Developing nations have opposed fuel bank initiatives in the past, citing concern over their rights to independently develop the nuclear fuel cycle.

“China expanding oil options beyond Iran”
Vivienne Walt writes that a drop in Chinese oil imports from Iran from 500,000 bbl. per day to 250,000 bbl. per day between January 2009 and January 2010 indicates Beijing is looking for alternative sources of oil (Time).
During a visit by British Foreign Minister David Miliband, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi indicated that China remained opposed to sanctions (Reuters).

“Iran offers nuclear fuel exchange” (The National)
Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, announced that Iran is prepared to accept a single exchange of 1,200 kg of its LEU for nuclear fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor. The exchange, however, would be on Iranian soil, a condition that Western powers have previously rejected.

“AQ Khan documents claim Pakistan directly involved in Iran’s nuclear program”
The Washington Post reports on an 11-page document written by nuclear scientist AQ Khan detailing Pakistan’s role in providing nuclear know-how and centrifuge parts (Washington Post).
Simon Henderson, the source of the documents, wrote about his relationship with Khan last year (The Times). ISIS has criticized Khan’s information as “self-serving” and inaccurate (ISIS).


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