Saturday, March 11, 2006

Nuke Joint Venture With Iran Impossible — Russian Negotiator

Russia considers a joint uranium enrichment venture with Iran impossible if the Iranian side fails to comply with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) demands, a Russian negotiator told RIA Novosti.

The IAEA demands to include Iran’s resumption of moratorium on uranium enrichment and ratification of an additional protocol to the Nonproliferation Treaty,” the official said.

Since Iran has failed to reach agreement with the IAEA, Russia considers the creation of a joint venture impossible,” he said. READ MORE

Commenting on Turkey’s proposal that a joint enrichment venture be created in Turkey, the Russian representative said that “the absurdity of this proposal is obvious to experts in the field.”

Turkey does not have the necessary nuclear-fuel cycle technology, while hypothetical transfer of uranium enrichment technology to the country (Turkey) from its NATO partners would be a direct violation of the nonproliferation regime. So there is no point in taking this proposal seriously,” the official said.

On Friday Russia proposed more talks on Iran’s nuclear program as the five U.N. Security Council powers Friday considered a statement to pressure Tehran to clear up questions about whether it is trying to build atomic weapons.

But the U.S. was skeptical about the idea, saying it was time for tough action after three years of failed negotiations.

The U.S. Ambassador John Bolton and other senior American officials have suggested that if the Security Council does not take tough action, Washington might look elsewhere to punish Iran — possibly by rallying its allies to impose targeted sanctions.

The United States and its allies believe Iran is seeking to develop atomic weapons, but Tehran denies the allegations, saying its nuclear program is solely for generating electricity.