The ATOM Project is a new international initiative to build global support for a permanent end to nuclear weapons testing and the total abolition of nuclear weapons. It was launched at a parliamentary assembly in Astana, Kazakhstan on August 29, 2012, the UN International Day Against Nuclear Tests, established in recognition of the closing of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site on that day in 1991 by the president of Kazakhstan.
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei insisted on Thursday that Iran has never been seeking to produce nuclear weapons. However, the Leader said Iran “will never give up” its right to a peaceful use of nuclear energy.
Cooperation began in 1990s.
The Obama administration is preparing the ground for tougher sanctions on Iran by pushing to revive last year's ill-fated fuel swap deal. The renewed proposal to swap Iran's low enriched uranium for research reactor fuel is not a serious attempt at engagement, as the Unites States knows it will likely fail. Instead, it is intended to depict the United States as a reasonable negotiating partner, and Iran as a duplicitous state bent on obtaining the bomb at all costs. This could increase support for harsher international sanctions that are more strictly implemented.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has expressed "grave concern" over Tehran's secret nuclear activities. He was referring to the disclosure of a new uranium enrichment facility hidden beneath a mountain.