Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Rafsanjani: Iran Resumed Centrifuge Operation on Uranium

Jamal Yali and Muntazar Feeli, Kuwait News Agency:
Head of Iran's Expediency Council Hashimi Rafsanjani Tuesday announced that the state resumed operation of 164 centrifuges in its Natanz nuclear facility for the enrichment of industrial uranium.

Interviewed by KUNA, the official said, "we operated the first unit which comprises of 164 centrifuges, gas was injected, and we got the industrial output.

"There needs to be expansion of operation if we are to have a complete industrial unit; tens of units are required to set up a uranium enrichment plant," he added. READ MORE

To a question on the results he expects from the upcoming visit of IAEA chief Elbaradei, Rafsanjani pointed out the IAEA official would meet new circumstances. He further urged all parties concerned with Iran's nuclear dossier to take "rational" decisions that would bring things back to normal.

The official considered the current situation "very complicated" with all influential players following up on this issue on the one hand and Iran insistent upon its legitimate rights on the other.

Having served as Iranian president (1989-1997), Rafsanjani noted "it is difficult to predict the future concerning Iran's nuclear dossier with more than one influential part involved." Rafsanjani was asked to comment on the talks between Iran and the US administration on conditions in Iraq and he said this is nothing new. "There were contacts between the two countries when the US invaded Afghanistan and the ambassadors still meet to discuss developments on that score," he pointed out.

"A while after US forces entered Iraq in 2003, a meeting was held on developments in that area which went no further. Recently, the American side requested resumption of such meetings," Rafsanjani remarked.

The Iranian official hinted that the talks may cover issues other than Iraq and justified that with the remark "should the US side show good will." He stated in conclusion that "In the meantime, the talks between the two states would only concern Iraq issues. But, it is customary that small issues lead to bigger ones."