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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran to continue enrichment on its soil - official

RIA Novosti

29/05/2006 14:44

TEHRAN, May 29 (RIA Novosti) - Iran will carry on uranium enrichment on its territory and ruled out a proposal to conduct work in Russia, an Iranian government spokesman said Monday.

"Any report that Iran will enrich uranium in Russia does not respond to reality," Gholam Hossein Elham said.

Iran is under intense international pressure to re-impose a moratorium on nuclear research. The United States and other Western nations suspect that the Islamic Republic's program is a cover for a bomb-building project, but Iran insists its program is meant for peaceful purposes.

In a bid to rectify the crisis, Russia proposed setting up a joint venture with Iran to enrich uranium on Russian soil.

Commenting on talks between the secretaries of the Russian and Iranian security councils in Tehran, he said the main objective of the dialogue was to leave Iran's nuclear file within the jurisdiction of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog.

The U.S., France and Britain are pushing for the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program. The other two veto-wielding members, Russia and China, have called for the dispute to be resolved by the IAEA, a position Hossein Elham welcomed.

"In this case, international control over the country's nuclear program will continue," he said.

But he said Iran was pursuing its nuclear program for civilian purposes, and that research would continue.

"Uranium enrichment is intended to produce nuclear fuel enriched to 3.5-5%," Elham said.

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