Teheran is ready to partially accept the offer from the United Nations Organizations to send its low-enriched uranium abroad, particularly to Russia, to have it processed for the production of fuel, Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said, the Associated Press reports.
Mottaki said Iran is weighing between the U.N.-drafted plan or buying its own enriched uranium. In either case, Iran would continue to enrich its own uranium as well, he said.
The draft of the six-sided agreement, coordinated by official representatives of Iran, Russia, the United States and France as a result of the recent talks in Vienna, stipulates the additional enrichment of 1,200 kilos of Iran’s low-enriched uranium in Russia and the production of 116 kilos of fuel from the nuclear material in France with the use of American technologies. The research reactor in Teheran was built in the country by American specialists at the end of the 1960s.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov believes that Russia has all necessary conditions for enriching the Iranian uranium.
“There are several objects in Russia, where the additional enrichment of the Iranian uranium can take place,” the official said. “If the scheme is realized, we will act as the main contractor. Russia will not be sponsoring the project from the state budget. Russian tax-payers will not spend anything on that,” the official added.
“Iran has not confirmed its agreement officially yet, but we hope that the right step will be made, and the agreement will be acceptable to the Iranian side too,” Ryabkov said.
As for the establishment of the joint Russian-Iranian uranium enrichment enteprirse, which was discussed in 2006, Ryabkov said that one should not draw parallel lines between the periods, especially when it comes to the issue which was developing dynamically.
Ryabkov indicated that Russia does not share the suspicions of the West that Tehran could be seeking to develop a nuclear bomb under the guise of a civilian nuclear programme, AFP said.
"Russia does not have evidence that Iran is carrying out nuclear work of a non-peaceful nature. We should not give the impression that everything has stayed as it was. On the contrary, we need to give the Iranians positive stimuli. And will it be possible to do this if it is presumed that the Iranians are wasting time? Everyone must demonstrate maximum patience and concentrate on the dynamics that have built up thanks to the efforts of the six world powers seeking to resolve the uranium nuclear crisis and Iran itself,” he said.
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