MOSCOW, April 24 (RIA Novosti) - Iran's nuclear program can still be suspended and talks with the Iran Six resumed, a deputy Russian foreign minister said Tuesday.
Since Iran resumed uranium enrichment in January 2006, the country has been the focus of international concerns, as some Western countries, particularly the U.S., suspect Tehran is pursuing a covert weapons program. However, Tehran has consistently claimed it needs nuclear power for civilian power generation and is fully entitled to its own nuclear program.
"We know of no qualitative changes in the Iranian program that could hinder the implementation of what the IAEA has asked for in the event of a political decision on this account in Iran," Sergei Kislyak said while commenting on an Iranian diplomat's statement that Iran will not discuss uranium enrichment suspension even if talks are resumed.
The Iran Six consists of five permanent UN Security Council members - the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China - and Germany.
Kislyak told a RIA Novosti news conference that should Tehran freeze uranium enrichment activities, all UN Security Council resolutions would be suspended immediately.
"If Iran fulfills the UN Security Council's key request to freeze the current work [to enrich uranium], all activity of the UN Security Council and its relevant resolutions against Iran will be frozen immediately, too," he said.
The UN Security Council passed a new resolution on Iran March 24 over its refusal to abandon its uranium enrichment, toughening economic sanctions against the country and accepting the possibility of a military solution to the crisis.
But in defiance of international efforts, Iran announced in April it had started production of nuclear fuel on an industrial scale, and voiced its determination to defend a legitimate right to possess nuclear power.
High-ranking Iranian officials, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have repeatedly stated that Iran would not discuss shutting down its uranium enrichment program even if discussions with five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany are resumed.