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2/18/04

Iranian FM: IAEA informed of Iran's research on centrifuges

Iran stressed on Tuesday that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was informed of the country's research on uranium-enrichment centrifuges, IRNA reported from Tehran.

Speaking to reporters on the fringes of a forum on the Persian Gulf, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi also described reports about Iran's designs for centrifuges as 'ballyhoo and propaganda against the Islamic Republic'.

"Claims that Iran has built centrifuges are wrong," he said, adding 'Iran is only engaged in research activities on G2 centrifuges'.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was reported as having allegedly uncovered designs in Iran for uranium-enrichment centrifuges.

Kharrazi said the report was only hue and cry against Tehran before a planned meeting of IAEA Board of Governors in March.

"Iran is only engaged in research activity in this regard and the International Atomic Energy Agency is informed of that," he said.

The Iranian foreign minister also clarified himself after he said recently that Tehran had the capacity to supply nuclear fuel to the international markets.

"Some people have imagined that Iran has nuclear fuel ready (for supply).

"Iran has the necessary potential and capacity in this field, which is a legitimate right of our country and my statements were in reaction to US President George Bush's remarks that only certain countries had the right to produce nuclear technology," he said.

"Iran can meet its nuclear fuel demand in the future and supply it to other countries in the framework of international regulations on nuclear fuel," Kharrazi added.

On Sunday, the Iranian foreign minister hailed production of nuclear fuel by Iran as an 'important achievement' but stressed that it was 'strictly' intended for peaceful purposes.

"This industry is strictly not for non-peaceful use and will be under the careful supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency," he told reporters here on his return from a Kuwait meeting.

Tehran says its nuclear efforts are in accordance with the country's bid to produce 7,000 megawatts of electricity in the next 20 years, when the country's oil and gas reserves become overstretched.

The Islamic Republic voluntarily suspended uranium enrichment following the visit of British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and his French and German counterparts, which led the country to sign an additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty late last year.

... Payvand News - 2/18/04 ... --



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