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Official: Iran not to continue enrichment during nuclear talks

Tehran, Dec 10, IRNA-The Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Agency Organization (IAEO) Gholam-Reza Aqazadeh on Saturday underlined that Iran has not started any nuclear activity in Natanz and said that it does not aim to proceed with such activities as gas injection and enrichment during the upcoming nuclear negotiations.

Speaking to reporters, he added that Iran is sure that it will proceed with production of nuclear fuel some time in the future.

Expressing satisfaction with the process of the projects already underway, the official said that though the issue of Natanz has been politicized, Iran has no doubt about the technical and legal aspects of resuming the enrichment process.

Concerning international participation in Natanz enrichment project, he said that the process will not certainly be short-term, given that, in the first place, it is a matter of politics and, secondly, it is a big and time-consuming project.

"The IAEO, which had been entrusted with examining several issues including investment, percentage of partners participation and its conformity with the Constitution, has already completed its preliminary studies in this respect.

"Some countries have declared their initial agreement for taking part in the enrichment process in Natanz. However, even once final accord is achieved, we will be unable to reveal the names of the relevant companies," he added.

Aqazadeh noted that though such a proposal was warmly welcomed, technical and legal discussions have not yet started, adding that the process could be expedited once Iran-EU negotiations resume.

In response to questions about the reaction of some Europeans about the recent interview of the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Larijani, he said that his remarks contained a clear message.

"During the interview, Larijani had declared that negotiations should be conducted in a clear framework, with definite objectives and according to a time schedule.

"Larijani had underlined that endless, non-binding and aimless talks are not acceptable to Iran. For instance, nuclear research can hardly be defined by anyone," added the official.

Aqazadeh said that Iran is prepared to negotiate the Natanz issue with the European trio and that it would be flexible in this regard.

Stressing that no nuclear program is being conducted outside international laws, he said that either Europe has not comprehended Iran's message or intends to raise propaganda against Iran.

"We should underline that the future nuclear talks should merely focus on Natanz nuclear facility rather than dealing with matters of secondary importance.

"One of the main issues to be determined in the future Iran-EU3 meeting would be to indicate the subject on the agenda and the framework of the negotiation," he said.

Aqazadeh said that he will not directly play a role in the nuclear talks and hoped that they will proceed smoothly.

Turning to the recent approach of Britain towards Iran's attitude, he said that if the British intend to disrupt the negotiation, they will be responsible for the consequence of such a move, which will be detrimental to themselves.

"I was briefed on the outlook of the two newly appointed deputies of the Russian Atomic Energy Agency during my recent visit to the country. They believe that the process of establishment of Bushehr nuclear plant should be expedited," he added.

Aqazadeh said that the plant is expected to become operational in 2006 and that good talks have been conducted about completion of the project and transfer of nuclear fuel.

He said that more than 90 percent of the project has already been implemented.

"The exact date when Bushehr nuclear plant will be put into operation is to be decided during the visit of the head of Russian Atomic Energy Agency to Tehran in February 2006," concluded Aqazadeh.

... Payvand News - 12/10/05 ... --

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