Iranian specialists plan to use domestically-produced fuel rods for a research reactor in the capital Tehran in just a few months, Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Sunday.
Salehi announced at the 18th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that Iran had decided to convert 20 percent enriched uranium into fuel rods, after Brazil and Turkey refused to provide fuel for the Tehran research reactor, according to Iranian news agency Fars.
“Although the other side [Western countries] did not imagine that we could achieve 20 percent enrichment and transform it into fuel, they will see that in the coming months we will place our indigenous fuel in the Tehran Research reactor,” Salehi said.
In May 2010 Tehran reached an agreement with Turkey and Brazil on the exchange on Turkish territory of Iranian low-enriched uranium for highly enriched uranium produced in other countries. This agreement has never been implemented due to UN Security Council sanctions adopted in June 2010 against Iran.
The EU voted on January 23 to ban oil imports from Iran. Western nations suspect Iran, which is already under numerous international sanctions, of pursuing a secret nuclear weapons program. Tehran insists it needs nuclear power solely for civilian purposes.
Some members of Iranian parliament threatened to cut off oil supplies to Europe before the sanctions come into force and stop to importing any goods from countries that have imposed sanctions against Tehran. However, the representative of the Energy Committee in Iranian parliament (Majlis) Emad Hosseini said that "no law (a ban on oil sales to Europe) has been prepared or submitted to parliament."