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EU understands Iran's need for nuclear energy

Brussels, Feb 19, IRNA -- The European Union said Wednesday that it understands the needs of the Islamic Republic's nuclear program for peaceful purposes but advised Tehran to sign an additional IAEA protocol to remove doubts.

"The EU position has not changed. We understand that Iran wants to build nuclear reactor for electricity needs," European Commission spokeswoman Emma Udwin told IRNA.

She said that during the recent visit of Commissioner Chris Patten to Tehran, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi explained to him that Iran needs nuclear reactors for its electricity needs.

Udwin said that the best way to deflect doubts on Iranian intentions was for Tehran to sign the additional protocols of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"Iran can thus create the greatest level of trust," said the spokeswoman.

Last week, President Mohammad Khatami said his government would construct additional nuclear facilities in central Iran as it was 'determined to make use of advanced nuclear technology for peaceful purposes'.

US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher in a reaction to Iran's announcement said it 'raises serious questions about Iran's supposedly peaceful nuclear program'.

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohammed ElBaradei, is scheduled to visit Iran for a two-day visit on February 22 for inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities.

... Payvand News - 2/19/03 ... --

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