Iran will not consider proposals by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), developed by Russia, France and the United States, which call on Tehran to suspend its research reactor, the ISNA news agency reported.
"We will not consider proposals calling for the suspension of the Tehran research reactor. Such proposals... are unacceptable to us," ISNA quoted ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast as saying.
Russia, the United States and France recently sent IAEA chief Yukiya Amano a letter to explain their governments' position following Iran's statements that it had started to produce 20%-enriched uranium.
"Today the world needs the use of atoms in the medical and agricultural spheres, as well as for electricity generation. When Iran is told not to produce [medical isotopes] and suspend the plant's activity, and that the necessary drugs will be given by Western countries, this is totally illogical," Mehmanparast said.
The diplomat said Tehran is ready to consider proposals to buy 20%-enriched uranium or swap its own low-enriched uranium (3.5%) for higher-enriched fuel.
Iran started the production of 20% enriched uranium last Tuesday in the presence of the head of Iran's nuclear agency and IAEA officials. The country's nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi pledged earlier that Iran would use enriched uranium to produce nuclear fuel solely for domestic purposes.
Under a plan drawn up last October by the UN nuclear watchdog and approved by the Iran Six - the U.S., Russia, Britain, China, Germany, and France - the Islamic Republic was to ship out its low-enriched uranium to Russia for further enrichment and subsequently send it to France where it would be made into fuel rods.
Tehran stalled and then rejected the plan, suggesting it could consider a simultaneous swap of its low-enriched uranium for 20%-enriched uranium, but that the exchange should be simultaneous and would have to take place on its own territory.
MOSCOW, February 17 (RIA Novosti)