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Iranian official: Reaching agreement on joint enrichment with Russia needs more time

Moscow, March 2, IRNA-Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Larijani at the end of his talks with his Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov said that reaching agreement on joint uranium enrichment for Iran at Russian soil is in need of more time and broader negotiations.

Speaking to the reporters at the hotel where a new round of Tehran-Moscow talks were held after the two countries' delegations' four-hour negotiations, the head of the Iranian team evaluated talks with Ivanov as 'constructive', adding, "In this round of talks we surveyed the various aspects of the Russians' proposal and the two sides conditions."

Larijani said that the technical, legal, economic, and other aspects of the Russian's proposal need to be further clarified before reaching an agreement.

The head of the Iranian delegation said that the two sides negotiations on the issue would resume as soon as the Russian side would come up with the outcome required evaluations and the needed harmony for reaching such an agreement.

He said, "The important point is that the Russian proposal is presented in the appropriate path and I believe it can reach completion in the process of further negotiations."

Larijani emphasized, "Enrichment in Russian soil must not be an obstacle on the way of peaceful nuclear activities, that is the legitimate right of each country, and Iran, too, should not be deprived of it."

In response to a question on enrichment in Iran, he said, "That is not a simple issue, since it has various aspects and justice has to be observed in it. We have not breached any laws so far, and as a member of the agency, are entitled to have certain rights in that respect." Asked about Iran's expectation from the IAEA March 6 session, he said, "We expect the IAEA Board of Governors to adopt a just stand that would be satisfactory for all with an eye on the future, in which case we would be ready for full cooperation."

Larijani added, "We still keep cooperation with the agency and are observing the NPT's additional protocol, yet we would not yield to any irrational pressure."

In the third round of Tehran-Moscow negotiations on the Russian key proposal, held on Wednesday morning and evening the members of the Iranian delegation also included Deputy Secretary of the SNSC Ali Hosseini-Tash, Deputy Head of Nuclear Energy Organization Mohammad Saeedi, Iran's Ambassador to Russia Gholam-Reza Ansari and some SNSC experts in legal, economic, and nuclear affairs.

The Russian delegation led by the Secretary of Russia's National Security Council, too, was comprised of Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kisliak, representatives and experts of that country's National Security Council and Atomic Energy Organization.

The Iranian and Russian delegations had in their second round of negotiations in Tehran reached basic agreements on the Russian proposal.

The time for the next round of talks is not announced yet and the Iranian delegation is scheduled to depart Moscow for Tehran on Thursday.

... Payvand News - 3/2/06 ... --

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