GENEVA (Dispatches) -- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s Board of Governors has for the first time discussed concerns about Saudi Arabia’s nuclear activities on a request by Iran, Iranian permanent representative to Vienna-based international organizations said Sunday.
Kazem Gharibabadi said Iran has tried to attract global attention to safeguards concerns about Saudi Arabia’s nuclear activities.
According to the envoy, there were many questions on the first day of the meeting about the IAEA’s next move on inspecting Saudi nuclear activities.
The occupying regime of Israel’s nuclear weapons program was also discussed in the meeting where the member states called for the application of the agency’s Safeguards Agreement.
Last week, British daily the Guardian said Saudi Arabia may be in possession of enough mineable uranium ore to produce nuclear fuel.
According to confidential documents prepared by Chinese geologists for the kingdom and seen by the Guardian, Riyadh now possesses so much uranium ore reserves that it can start domestic production of nuclear fuel.
The Chinese geologists have been reportedly rushing to help Riyadh map its uranium reserves at breakneck speed as part of their nuclear energy cooperation agreement.
The geologists identified reserves that would be able to produce more than 90,000 tons of uranium from three "major deposits” in the center and northwest of the country, the report said.
The disclosure will intensify concerns about Saudi Arabia’s interest in an atomic weapons program, the paper said.
Saudi Arabia’s clandestine nuclear program, which had been revealed by whistle-blowers, was recently confirmed by satellite images showing a large compound, in a suspicious location in the middle of the desert, a checkpoint, towering security fences, a big building about 150 feet on a side and pools for the collection of uranium waste; a typical blueprint for yellow-cake mills.
The Wall Street Journal uncovered the facility constructed in a remote area in Saudi Arabia for extracting uranium yellow-cake from uranium ore. Ironically, the facility is located near a solar-panel production area.