Iran says it answered questions on centrifuges

Three days of talks with IAEA representative conclude in Teheran.

October 11, 2007 17:56
1 minute read.
Iran says it answered questions on centrifuges

heavy water 88. (photo credit: )

Iran said it answered questions on its centrifuge technology during three days of talks that ended Thursday with a delegation from the UN nuclear watchdog agency. The discussions were the latest attempt by the International Atomic Energy Agency to address outstanding questions on a program that many Western countries believe is cover for weapons development, but Iran insists is focused on power generation. The official Islamic Republic News Agency reported that Iran answered all IAEA questions over its P-1 and P-2 centrifuges during the talks, headed by IAEA Deputy Director-General Olli Heinonen and Iran's deputy nuclear negotiator Javad Vaeedi. Centrifuges are used in enriching uranium, a process that can produce either fuel for a nuclear reactor or the material for a warhead. P-2 centrifuges are more sophisticated, consuming less electricity and producing more enriched uranium. "Teheran expects the IAEA does not bow to the pressures by some countries," and to work in a technical and legal framework, the report said, referring to calls by the US and its allies for new sanctions against Iran. The United Nations has demanded Iran suspend enrichment and has twice imposed limited sanctions for Teheran's refusal to do so. The talks in Teheran were a continuation of the four previous rounds of talks between Iran and the IAEA, three of which were held in Teheran and one in Vienna where the IAEA is based. During those meetings, Teheran expressed a willingness to answer outstanding questions related to its nuclear program but continued to refuse to suspend uranium enrichment, insisting it is Iran's right to pursue the program. The US and some of its allies fear Iran is simply trying to reduce international pressure while continuing its pursuit of a nuclear weapon. IAEA chief Mohamed El-Baradei praised Iran's cooperation with the agency in September as a significant step, but urged Teheran to answer all questions - including reported experiments that link enrichment and missile technology - before the end of the year. The US continues to push for a more punitive sanctions against Iran but is meeting resistance from several members of the UN Security Council, including Russia, China and Germany. Faced with the possibility of harsher sanctions, Teheran offered a rare concession in August and allowed IAEA inspectors to revisit a heavy-water reactor under construction outside Arak in central Iran that has been off-limits since April.

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