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Iran rejects EU demand to halt nuclear activities

Published on November 08, 2005

8 November 2005

TEHRAN – Iran on Tuesday rejected a demand by the European Union to halt all nuclear fuel cycle activities in the Islamic republic, state news television IRIB reported.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid-Reza Assefi told IRIB that the E.U. demand was “surprising” and called on the E.U. to revise its “unconstructive approach”.

In a draft declaration issued in Brussels Monday, the E.U. urged Iran to reinstate “a full suspension of all fuel cycle activities, thus allowing negotiations with the European side to resume”.

“Iran will not make any compromise on its legal and legitimate right (of having its own nuclear cycle),” Assefi said.

The demand came as Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki on Tuesday briefed foreign diplomats in Tehran on Iran’s nuclear programmes in what many see as a further conciliatory gesture to a hostile international community.

Fars news agency reported that the ambassadors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board member states were invited to the foreign ministry in advance of the IAEA board that is scheduled to meet on November 24.

Mottaki stressed that Iran has so far granted the IAEA unlimited inspections and provided the United Nations nuclear watchdog with all relevant documents on its nuclear projects.

The minister reiterated the purely peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear activities, Fars reported, without giving any further details.

Iran wants renewed negotiations with the E.U., represented by Britain, France and Germany, but rejects any limitation on its nuclear activities.

The E.U. in return wants Iran to respect last September’s IAEA resolution and close down its uranium conversion plant in Isfahan in central Iran.

If Tehran fails to meet the IAEA’s demands, the Iran case might be referred to the U.N. Security Council where the country might not only face further trade sanctions but also renewed political isolation.

Tehran has not only so far rejected halting activities in Isfahan but even plans to covert more raw uranium this week and eventually start the enrichment process in the neighbouring Natanz plant.

In Isfahan, raw uranium, or yellowcake, is turned into uranium hexafluoride gas and then stored for later use at Natanz where the gas is fed into centrifuges for enrichment.

Enriched uranium at low grade can only be used as fuel in nuclear reactors to generate electricity, which is what Iran claims it intends, but further enrichment makes uranium ripe for an atomic bomb.


Subject: German news