Iran's nuclear announcement is pure PR move - Russian expert

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Iran's announcement that it has joined the world's nuclear club is a bluff and a political PR move, an expert at a Russian think tank said Wednesday.

MOSCOW, April 12 (RIA Novosti) - Iran's announcement that it has joined the world's nuclear club is a bluff and a political PR move, an expert at a Russian think tank said Wednesday.

"The announcement that Iran can produce nuclear fuel is largely a bluff," said Vladimir Yevseyev, a senior researcher at the Moscow-based Center for Global Security. "What they [Iranian leaders] said about successfully completing the full nuclear cycle in laboratory conditions should not be viewed as a confirmation that the country could launch full-scale production of nuclear fuel."

In a televised speech on Tuesday, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said: "I officially announce that Iran has joined the group countries with nuclear technology."

The Russian expert said that during the latest experiment Iran had managed to produce only a small amount of low-enriched uranium.

"Iran is talking about completing a full nuclear cycle, but actually it has not gone that far because the full cycle includes plutonium separation in addition to uranium enrichment, and the country has made only a few initial steps in this sphere," Yevseyev said, adding that it could take Iran at least three years to accumulate enough high-enriched uranium to create a nuclear weapon.

The expert also said Iran could not be considered a member of the world's nuclear club because the country had not yet conducted a single nuclear test.

"Therefore, I regard all such statements merely as a bluff - political PR moves designed to apply pressure on the West, and ensure a better negotiating position," he said.

Meanwhile, the head of the international affairs committee of the upper house of the Russian parliament, Mikhail Margelov, said he believed Iran would continue its nuclear research.

He said the Iranian president's announcement that the country had produced enriched uranium made this intention clear.

"Tehran has made us understand the firmness of its position, and its readiness to continue nuclear developments - all this will only complicate further talks," he told journalists.

Margelov added, however, that uranium produced by Iran "does not present any direct military threat."

Iran joins nuclear club  (topic)

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