Thursday, December 29, 2005

Russian Defence Ministry Denies Nuclear Talks with Iran

Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Monsters and Critics:
A spokesman for Russian Defence Minister Sergey Ivanov Thursday denied foreign media reports of talks with Iran over plans to enrich Iranian uranium on Russian soil. 'The defence minister has not spoken either today or in the past few days with the Iranian side on setting up any joint enterprise to enrich uranium on Russian territory,' a spokesman said.

The foreign ministry meanwhile said it had received no reply from Teheran to its proposal for enriching Iranian uranium on Russian soil to allay fears in the international community about uncontrolled Iranian use of a process which could lead to building an atomic bomb. READ MORE

Iran Wednesday had given what observers saw as an ambiguous response to the Russian proposal.

International deputy of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), Javad Vaeidi, was quoted as saying the Russian plan could lead to expansion and improvement of peaceful nuclear technology within the Non-Proliferation Treaty members, and 'could therefore be considered'.

'But whatever the meaning of the Russian plan might be, it could not go beyond the NPT and deprive Iran from its rights (to have its own nuclear cycle),' he added.

Vaeidi, who is also a senior member of the Iranian nuclear delegation, further linked the proposal to a contract signed with Russia last February.

Under this, Moscow is to supply Iran with uranium for its nuclear power plant in the southern Gulf port of Bushehr. However, he gave no details.