TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- The officials of the world's third-biggest producer of nuclear fuel and the biggest open-pit uranium mine, Rossing mine, announced that they respect Iran's right to maintain its 15-percent stake of the mine.
"We believe we are complying with UN Resolution 1929," the Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto said in a statement.
The UN Security Council Resolution 1929 bans Iran from acquiring any interest in any commercial activity involving uranium mining, enrichment, reprocessing and the production or use of nuclear materials and technology.
Iran has owned a 15 percent stake in the Rossing Uranium Mine in Namibia in southern Africa, which is majority-owned by Rio Tinto, since 1975.
According to World Nuclear Association data, Rossing mine is the world's third-biggest producer of nuclear fuel and the biggest open-pit uranium mine, accounting for 7 percent of the global supply.
On October 18, the company's manager for corporate communications and external relations Jerome Mutumba told Reuters that "Rossing Uranium Limited is consulting with the Government of Namibia to find a solution to deal with the UN Resolution."
"Iran does not gain access to any nuclear technology through its investments. It has no uranium product off-take rights," Rio Tinto said in the statement.
The US-led West accuses Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program, while they have never presented any corroborative evidence to substantiate their allegations. Iran denies the charges and insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.
Tehran stresses that the country has always pursued a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry.
Despite the rules enshrined in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) entitling every member state, including Iran, to the right of uranium enrichment, Tehran is now under four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions for turning down West's calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment.
Tehran has dismissed West's demands as politically tainted and illogical, stressing that sanctions and pressures merely consolidate Iranians' national resolve to continue the path.
Political observers believe that the United States has remained at loggerheads with Iran mainly over the independent and home-grown nature of Tehran's nuclear technology, which gives the Islamic Republic the potential to turn into a world power and a role model for other third-world countries.
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