Publishe Date: 10:55 PM - 10/13/2013 | Print

Iran's Former Envoy Strongly Opposed to Taking Iran's Uranium Stockpile Abroad

Politics - The 20-percent-enriched uranium stockpiled in Iran is strategically important for the country and shouldn’t be transferred to any other state, former Iranian Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohammad Sadeq Ayatollahi said, dismissing certain western media reports in this regard.

The country's 20 percent (enriched uranium) stockpile should remain in Iran for our use and taking it out of the country will be a mistake," Ayatollahi told FNA on Sunday.

He said taking to the foreign countries the nuclear products which should be used for producing fuel for Iran would mean that the recipient of such stockpiles would produce the fuel for Iran from then on and in this way both they will gain a value-added and Iran will become dependent on that given country, "and this will be totally wrong thing to do".

His remarks came after certain western media and officials raised a proposal saying that Iran will agree with transferring its 20-percent-enriched uranium supplies to reach an agreement with the West over its nuclear program.

The United States and its Western allies have been demanding that Iran cease enriching uranium to 20 percent grade.

Tehran has refused to scuttle its enrichment activities, citing the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), which allows nations to process uranium for civilian uses like energy production and medical research.

Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said Iran had recently reduced its 240-kilogram stock of 20 percent uranium to 140 kilograms, a 42 percent drop, by converting it to fuel rods for Tehran's medical research reactor. He also said the rest of the stockpile was being converted as well.

Fordo enrichment facility hosts Iran's uranium enrichment to the purity level of 20 percent which is needed for fueling a research reactor in Tehran which produces radioisotopes for medical purposes.

The western media claimed recently that Iran's new president Hassan Rouhani is willing to shut down its nuclear facility if the West agrees to lift Islamic republic's sanctions.

Salehi strongly rejected western media reports claiming that Tehran has raised a proposal to the West to close its Fordo uranium enrichment facility near the Central city of Qom for lifting sanctions against the country.

"The closure of Fordo site is a sheer lie," Salehi told reporters at the end of a cabinet meeting in Tehran in September.


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