Russian nuclear proposal interests Iran

Proposal suggests uranium enrichment on Russian soil instead of in Iran.

February 20, 2006 00:26
1 minute read.
mottaki 298.88

mottaki 298.88. (photo credit: Associated Press)

Iran said Sunday it could consider a comprehensive Russian proposal on uranium enrichment if certain provisions were met, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported. The comments by Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki come a day before negotiations begin in Moscow on a proposal to move Iran's uranium enrichment to Russia, a bid to allay fears that Teheran will build nuclear weapons. "If the Russian plan, with supplementary indicators, leads to a comprehensive proposal, then we could say it will have Iran's interest," IRNA quoted Mottaki as saying. "The partners in the plan, the duration of the project, location of enrichment and consensus of all related parties would be significant to Iran." Mottaki reiterated that his country would not accept any "conditional negotiation" about its nuclear program. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned Teheran last week that Russia's enrichment offer was contingent on Iran reimposing a freeze on enrichment at home. Meanwhile, Ali Hosseinitash, head of the Iranian nuclear delegation to Moscow, told state-run television that Iran trusts Russia. "Our negotiations are based on our mutual intention for preventing the expansion of disputes. Both sides trust each other," he said. However, Hosseinitash said Russia's vote to take Iran's nuclear case to the UN Security Council was "unexpected." On February 4, the International Atomic Energy Agency board of governors, including Russia, reported Iran to the council and called on its government to suspend all enrichment-related activities. The world has long sought to stop Iran from enriching uranium, fearing that the process would bring it to the threshold of possessing nuclear bombs. Iran suspended certain aspects of its cooperation with the IAEA but maintains that its nuclear program is of a peaceful nature.

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