IRAN ON URANIUM ENRICHMENT

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TEHRAN, September 18 (RIA Novosti) - Iran will make a decision to resume work on uranium enrichment in the next three days.

"I guess in the two-three days to come, the Islamic Republic's supreme leadership will make a decision on resumption of work in the field of uranium enrichment," reads a statement by Iranian representative to the IAEA Hosein Mosaviyan received by RIA Novosti on Saturday.

In the opinion of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization experts, such statements are official Tehran's reaction to consultations held in Vienna in regard to working out a final draft resolution on Iran's nuclear programs.

The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran notes that "the draft proposed by the European Union [the UK, Germany, France] under the Americans' pressure contains calls on Tehran to terminate developments on exploration of the full nuclear cycle."

"However, if these demands remain and are adopted by the majority of 35 member states of the IAEA Board of Governors, an absurd precedent will be created, when a state fully cooperating with the Agency [the Islamic Republic] will be accused of exploring peaceful nuclear technologies, which is just what the IAEA is supposed to contribute to," said the source.

In his opinion, "this questions the expediency of the IAEA existence as an international organization which cannot counter the pressure of only two states - the U.S. and Israel, directly interested in overthrowing the present ruling regime in the Islamic Republic and in ousting from the Iranian market of nuclear technologies of Russia, which is the U.S. major rival in exploration and construction of nuclear power plants."

Iran already made such a demarche this past summer, when the IAEA Vienna HQ considered in June the issue of the Iranian nuclear file at the Board of Governors. Then the talk was also about the passing of the "file" to the UN Security Council for adoption of anti-Iran sanctions as punishment for its insufficient, in theIAEA's opinion, pliability. In revenge, Tehran spoke about its intention to resume from late June 2004 work to produce parts to centrifuges used to enrich uranium and their assemblage. The IAEA decided to postpone the issue until the new session of the Board of Governors in September. Now the history repeats itself: Tehran again resorts to the tested method - if the Iranian nuclear file is not closed, all previous agreements between Iran and the EU Troika become invalid and Iran can resume voluntarily stopped work to enrich uranium.

Russia assists Iran in the construction of a light-water reactor in Bushehr, which is practically completed. The nuclear power plant will use work on nuclear fuel imported from Russia [a separate agreement envisages the return of spent fuel to Russia]. Despite the fact that the NPT permits passing nuclear technologies to non-nuclear states with peaceful purposes [especially to those who signed it, and Iran signed the Treaty in mid-1970s], the U.S. is strictly against Russian-Iranian nuclear cooperation in the nuclear sphere. The U.S. and Israel fear that Russian-Iranian cooperation is a cover for passage of "sensitive" technologies to Iran and training of Iranian nuclear experts, which might make Iran closer to creating its own nuclear bomb.

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