Iran denies receiving Russian nuke offer

Russia said it proposed moving Iranian uranium enrichment sites to Russia.

By
December 25, 2005 13:03
4 minute read.
iran's Ahmadinejad portrait 298.88

Ahmadinejad 298.88. (photo credit: AP [file])

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Iran denied on Sunday that it had received from Russia a proposal for moving its uranium enrichment facilities to Russian territory, a compromise Europe is seeking to resolve controversy over Iran's nuclear program. Russia announced a day earlier that it had formally put the proposal to Teheran. Iran has so far insisted it would not agree to moving enrichment abroad, and it was not clear if Teheran's denial was an attempt to gain time without directly rejecting a proposal from Moscow, a longtime ally. "We have not received any particular plan yet," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters. "Its quite clear that Iran will positively look at any proposal that recognize right of having nuclear enrichment on its soil." Asefi underlined that Iran and Russia enjoy positive mutual relations and understandings in many fields. Uranium enrichment is a key step in the nuclear process, producing either fuel for a reactor or the material needed for a warhead. The Europeans want enrichment moved to Russia to ensure Iran cannot divert uranium for a weapons program. The United States accuses Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Iran insists its program is peaceful, aimed only at generating electricity, but it has insisted it has the right to develop the entire nuclear fuel processs - including enrichment - on its own territory. Negotiators from Germany, France and Britain held a new round of talks with the Iranians on Wednesday after a five-month break, achieving no progress but agreeing to hold further negotiations in January. Tensions have been mounting between Iran and the West, with the UN nuclear watchdog agency saying it is growing impatient with Tehran's resistance to European proposals. At the same time, Europe and the United States have expressed outrage by recent comments by Iran's hard-line president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, calling for Israel to be destroyed and calling the Nazi Holocaust a "myth." On Saturday, the Russian foreign ministry said it formally proposed to Iran to move its uranium enrichment facilities to Russian territory. In the diplomatic note sent to Iran's government, Russia's Foreign Ministry said "an earlier Russian offer to Iran to establish a joint Russian-Iranian enrichment venture in Russia remains valid. The Russian Embassy in Tehran delivered the note." Asefi praised this week's negotiations, saying the agreement to continue was "a kind of progress." "It means the parties see a room for future. If Europe respects Iran's rights then there will be more room," he said. Washington is pushing for Tehran to be brought before the United Nations Security Council, where it could face economic sanctions over the dispute. But Russia and China, which have vetoes on the council, oppose referral and the West has stopped short of forcing the matter. Russia is building a nuclear power plant in Iran in a deal that has drawn strong U.S. criticism. Iran's enrichment program is viewed with suspicion because the country hid that work from UN inspectors for nearly two decades before its secret nuclear activities were revealed nearly three years ago. Since then, a probe by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog, has unearthed Iranian experiments, blueprints and equipment that either have "dual-use" applications or seem to have no nonmilitary function. That has further added to concerns, even though no firm evidence of a weapons program has been found.

Related Content

August 17, 2018
German Jewish council urges end of Iran-Germany trade

By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL