Saturday, August 13, 2005

Russia Tells Iran to Halt Nuclear Fuel Work, Continue Dialogue With IAEA

Russia has called for ’de-escalation’ of tensions and for dialogue over Iran’s decision to resume nuclear fuel work, local media reported.

Moscow supported the decision of the UN nuclear watchdog — the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) — urging Iran to resume its moratorium on nuclear fuel production, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. READ MORE

Having supported this resolution, we believe it is essential to create conditions for a de-escalation of the situation and a return to the path of negotiation,’ the ministry said.

Dialogue should aim to ”reach a solution that in the end meets Iranian interests,“ the ministry said, while boosting trust of Iran’s nuclear intentions. ”Russia for its part is ready to use all means to help the development of the situation along this path.“

Iran has flatly rejected the IAEA’s resolution, saying it has the right to produce nuclear fuel. The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization called the heavy-water reactor offer a ”joke.“

”We have developed this capability. The heavy-water project today is a reality,“ Gholamreza Aghazadeh, who is also vice president, was quoted by AP as saying on state-run television. ”This knowledge belongs to Iran. Nobody can take it from us. As they (Europeans) see Iran’s determination, they will be forced to show flexibility and accept it.“

Iran says the heavy-water reactor will have a range of peaceful applications. Iran intends to use the facility in the pharmaceutical, biological and biotechnological fields as well as in cancer diagnosis and control.

The 40-megawatt heavy-water reactor could produce enough plutonium for a nuclear weapon each year, an amount experts commonly say is 8.8 pounds.

Meanwhile, the Iranians are pushing ahead on another track — construction of a heavy-water reactor that Iran says will be used only for peaceful purposes but which could also produce plutonium for a nuclear bomb.