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Iran should suspend uranium work to continue talks - Ivanov

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Iran should suspend its uranium enrichment activities to continue talks with the international community, the Russian defense minister said Sunday.
TEHRAN, December 3 (RIA Novosti) - Iran should suspend its uranium enrichment activities to continue talks with the international community, the Russian defense minister said Sunday.

Iran has been at the center of international concerns over its uranium enrichment program, which some countries suspect is a covert program to develop nuclear weapons. But Tehran has consistently denied the claims and says it needs nuclear energy for civilian needs.

The suspension of uranium enrichment activities by Iran to continue talks with the international community is a strategic way out of the complex situation, Sergei Ivanov, who is also deputy prime minister, said in an interview with the Al-Jazeera TV channel broadcast by the Russian Vesti-24 TV channel.

At the same time, Ivanov said Iran currently had neither nuclear weapons nor weapons-grade plutonium nor weapons-grade uranium.

Each country has the legitimate right to benefit from civilian nuclear energy but the international community must be absolutely certain that no country, except for the nuclear club members, is engaged or plans to be engaged in any programs that could allow it to acquire military nuclear technologies, Ivanov said.

The Russian defense minister said control over fuel meant for nuclear power stations could be an effective measure.

"Russia is building the Bushehr nuclear power station in Iran. But fuel delivery has nothing to do with military programs. This fuel is of a completely different enrichment nature and cannot be used for military purposes," Ivanov said.

According to Ivanov, this fuel will be delivered to Iran under full control of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and after this fuel is spent, it will be returned to Russia for recycling.

"This means that not a single gram of even civilian peaceful atom will be stolen," Ivanov said.

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