Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Iran says will resume key atomic work despite EU

Iran will resume some key work on its nuclear fuel cycle regardless of what European diplomats might propose to defuse a dispute over its atomic ambitions, Iran's president said on Wednesday.

"Whether Europeans mention our right to resume activities at (the uranium conversion facility at) Isfahan or not, we will definitely resume it regardless," Mohammad Khatami told reporters. READ MORE

The plant at the central city of Isfahan takes processed uranium ore, mined in Iran's central desert, and processes it into uranium hexafluoride gas.

The gas is then pumped into centrifuges that spin at supersonic speed to enrich the uranium.

Tehran says it will enrich this uranium to a relatively low grade for use in power stations, whereas Washington suspects it will take it to weapons grade for use in warheads.

In a bid to resolve the dispute, France, Germany and Britain will present a set of proposals to Iran by early August.

The EU countries have traditionally encouraged Tehran to end all work on nuclear fuel in return for economic incentives. Iranian officials say they can never surrender the right to domestic production of nuclear fuel.