Dozens killed and hundreds injured as earthquake hits near Iran's nuclear city Bushehr

 

Jerusalem

At least 30 people were killed and 800 injured today when a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck near Iran’s only nuclear power plant.

Officials said that work at the Bushehr site was unaffected by the quake which was felt as far away as Dubai, across the Strait of Hormuz, and in Qatar. The earthquake comes as pressure mounts on Tehran over its nuclear programme, which most of the international community says is bent on developing a nuclear weapon but which Iranian officials insist is designed only for peaceful purposes.

The Red Cross has said two villages close to the plant – Shanbe and Sana, which both have populations are about 2,000 - had been badly damaged, but the Russian company that built the Bushehr plant said the reactor was undamaged.

An Iranian official, who spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity, said the earthquake had been felt at the nuclear site, but said: “I don't think anything happened to the Bushehr power plant as it happened outside Bushehr city.” It is thought that the plant is about 20km away from the two villages.

“The earthquake in no way affected the normal situation at the reactor. Personnel continue to work in the normal regime and radiation levels are fully within the norm,” Russian state news agency RIA quoted an official at the company, Atomstroyexport, as saying.

The quake came as John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, was in Jerusalem for talks with Benjamin Netanyahu about the Israel-Palestinian peace process and Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Speaking after the meeting, Mr Kerry, said that, “Iran cannot have and will not have a nuclear weapon”.

There was little new of substantive progress on the peace process. Mr Kerry said today that the most recent talks had focussed on “some economic initiative”, but that both he and Mr Netanyahu agreed that “the political track is first and foremost; other things may happen to supplement it.”

America’s leading diplomat was clear on Iran, however. “The United States of America has made clear that we stand not just with Israel, but with the entire international community in making it clear that we are serious [about not allowing Iran to develop a nuclear weapon], we are open to negotiation, but it is not an open-ended, endless negotiation,” he said.

The comments come after two days of talks between world powers and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions broke up without resolution at the weekend.

Mr Kerry was not the only foreign official in Israel for talks on Iran today. Canada’s foreign minister, John Baird, held talks with Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz, who on Sunday said that Iran should face military action within, “a few weeks, a month” if there is no progress in talks. Like most officials in Israel, Mr Steinitz believes that the West should lead any military action.

Later this month, the new US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel will visit Jerusalem for talks with his opposite number, the Moshe Ya’alon.

Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again say analysts

News
A Brazilian wandering spider
news

World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas

Life and Style
fashion

British supermodel and hitmaker join forces to launch a 'huge song'

Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in the win over QPR
footballInternet reacts to miss shocker for Liverpool striker
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
people
Voices
Sol Campbell near his home in Chelsea
voices
News
i100
News
Kimi the fox cub
newsBurberry under fire from animal rights group - and their star, Kimi
Sport
Fans of Palmeiras looks dejected during the match between Palmeiras and Santos
footballPalmeiras fan killed trying to 'ambush' bus full of opposition supporters
Arts and Entertainment
filmsIt's nearly a wrap on Star Wars: Episode 7, producer reveals
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Lead Teacher of Thinking School Drive Team and Year 3 Form teacher

Competitive: Notting Hill Prep School: Spring Term 2015 Innovative, ambitious ...

Operations Data Analyst - London - up to £25,000

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Operations Data Analyst -...

Programmatic Business Development Manager

£35 - £40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: As the Programmatic Business Develo...

Year 5 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education is currently recruitin...

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past