Speaking today, the Foreign Secretary William Hague said:
“I am extremely disappointed by Iran’s decision to start enrichment operations at its Qom facility. At a time when the international community is asking Iran to provide assurances of the peaceful nature of its programme, this is a provocative act which further undermines Iran’s claims that its programme is entirely civilian in nature.
“Iran only acknowledged the facility at Qom after its existence became known. Its size, location, and clandestine nature raise serious questions about its ultimate purpose. Iran can provide no credible rationale for producing so much 20% enriched uranium. Its claim to be enriching for the Tehran Research Reactor does not stand up to serious scrutiny. Iran already has sufficient enriched uranium to power the reactor for more than five years and has not even installed the equipment necessary to manufacture fuel elements.
“If Iran has nothing to hide, it should seek every opportunity to reasssure the international community of its peaceful intentions. We therefore call on Iran to stop immediately the production of 20% uranium and to engage seriously with the E3+3 about the international community’s concerns. In the absence of this international pressure on Iran will only increase further”.