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Iran should enrich to 60% to fuel ships if nuclear talks fail: MPs propose

Source: Tehran Times

A group of Iranian MPs has prepared a draft bill that would oblige the government to enrich uranium up to a purity of 60 percent if negotiations with the major powers over Tehran's nuclear program fail, a report says.

According to the Fars News Agency, around 100 MPs signed the draft bill and presented it to the Majlis Presiding Board on Wednesday. However, MP Hossein Farhangi told the IRNA news agency that the Majlis Presiding Board has not received such a draft.

After intensive talks in Geneva, the foreign ministers of Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) struck an interim deal on November 24, based on which Iran agreed not to expand its nuclear program and to suspend its 20 percent uranium enrichment in return for a limited easing of the sanctions imposed on the country.

According to the agreement, over the course of six months, Iran and the six countries of the 5+1 group will draw up a comprehensive nuclear deal which will lead to a lifting of the sanctions on Iran and Iran will provide the world verifiable guarantees that its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes.

MP Mehdi Moussavinejad, a senior member of the Iranian parliament's Energy Committee, said earlier that Iran would increase its uranium enrichment to 60 percent if the West violates the terms of the interim deal.

"Given the method that the other negotiating side -- the U.S. in particular -- has adopted during the nuclear negotiations, the legislators are working on a bill that will require the government to increase the level of uranium [enrichment] to over 60 percent," Moussavinejad told IRNA.

Moussavinejad said that the level of enrichment is needed "to supply fuel for our ships."

The draft bill was crafted after a group of U.S. senators prepared a new bill that includes "prospective sanctions" that expand economic and financial restrictions on Iran's energy and banking sectors.

MP Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, the spokesman of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, told IRNA on Wednesday that the draft bill obliging the government to enrich uranium to a purity of 60 percent to fuel submarines and ships was crafted in order to give the Iranian nuclear negotiating team the upper hand.

"The plan of obliging the government to 60 percent enrichment is being drawn up to support the government and the negotiating team," Naqavi Hosseini said.

If the U.S. Congress has prepared plans to put more "pressure on us, our Majlis should also do that," he added.

... Payvand News - 12/26/13 ... --

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