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Moscow's uranium enrichment proposal only partially suits Iran - MP

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TEHRAN, December 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's proposal on joint uranium enrichment is only partially acceptable to Iran, a member of the Iranian parliament said Tuesday.

Ala'eddin Borujerdi, head of the Majlis national security and foreign relations committee, said Iran was willing to cooperate with Russia and other countries in the nuclear sector, but could not accept Russia's offer to host Iranian uranium enrichment facilities.

Borujerdi suggested that Tehran should try to convince Moscow that Natanz and other enrichment facilities across Iran were the best sites for collaborative projects.

On December 24, Moscow, which is assisting Iran in building a nuclear reactor at Bushehr, formally proposed to Tehran that the latter move its uranium enrichment facilities to Russian territory.

In a diplomatic note to Iran's government, the Russian Foreign Ministry said, "The earlier Russian offer to Iran to establish a joint Russian-Iranian uranium enrichment venture in Russia remains valid." The ministry said the offer was Russia's contribution to "the search for mutually acceptable solutions in the context of settling the situation surrounding the Iranian nuclear program by political and diplomatic means."

The EU troika (Germany, France and Britain) has welcomed the idea of moving Iran's enrichment activities to Russia, as this would reduce the risk of Iran using enrichment technology to produce weapons-grade uranium.

Russia is building a nuclear power plant in the Iranian port of Bushehr. The project has attracted strong criticism from the U.S., which has accused Tehran of trying to develop nuclear weapons in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

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