Enrichment Process in Natanz Not Resumed

February 28, 2006

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) spokesman Hossein Entezami said here Tuesday that despite removal of seals at Natanz Nuclear Facility by the inspectors of UN nuclear watchdog, Iran has not yet resumed enrichment process merely for further confidence building and removing misunderstandings.

Speaking in a meeting with the editors-in-chief of Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), he added that Iran has not yet started industrial enrichment on a large scale.

He noted that Iran is determined to defend its right to enrichment within the framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) laws.

Turning to Iran's intention to access nuclear technology in response to the national will, he said, "Promotion of our scientific potential will improve the country's geopolitical stance.

"Over the past two decades, scientific expertise has played a more crucial role in gaining power, while nuclear technology and similar strategic knowledge such as nano-technology, biotechnology and the so-called `high-tech' are within the same category." He said that Iran's demands have always been within the IAEA framework, adding that based on Article 4 of the agency's convention, it is entitled to access nuclear technology for peaceful purpose.

"Meanwhile, we are prepared and consider ourselves bound to accept all the required inspections," he added.

He regretted that the Western public opinion is deprived of getting to know Iran's stance due to extensive propaganda.

"It is irrational for a country which intends to produce atomic bomb to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Neither will it accept the protocols on extensive and unannounced inspections.

"As the only country voluntarily implementing the Additional Protocol, Iran facilitated extensive and unannounced inspections, despite having no commitments officially in this respect," he added.

Entezami deplored the fact that Iran's close cooperation and confidence building measures were not appreciated.

"Iran has declared that if the nuclear dossier returns to its normal course and its right to enrichment under the UN inspection is officially recognized, just like those of other members, the Additional Protocol will be taken to Majlis.

"Besides, according to one of the principles of Iran's nuclear policy, the expenses of materializing the public demand for access to nuclear technology should be affordable.

"Russia's proposal on establishment of a joint venture for uranium enrichment in the Russian territory, talks with the IAEA and the EU3 are three separate issues, despite their impact upon one another. For instance, once agreement is reached with Russia, both the UN nuclear watchdog and the EU will exert less pressure upon Iran," he added.

The official said that the continuing trend of Iran-Russia talks mark progress.

Entezami said that the visit of the Head of Russia's Atomic Energy Organization Sergei Kiriyenko had nothing to do with his country's proposal on enrichment.

"He rather tended to examine the progress at Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant and pursue the commitments of the Russian partner involved in the project. To make the proposal practical, it should be revised to some extent," he added.

Entezami said that for instance the Russians can guarantee supply of nuclear fuel, given that this is a strategic issue in the present age.

"Iran will not give up research. Meanwhile, despite our intention for coming up with a formula for industrial enrichment, to prove our further goodwill we have not resumed the enrichment process during the past month.

"Iran's approach towards the Russian proposal is in general positive. However, our right for research should not be violated," he added.

Entezami noted that withdrawal from NPT is not on the agenda and hoped that its potentials as an international treaty will soon be proved.

Concerning the upcoming March 6 meeting of the Board of Governors on the country's nuclear dossier, he said that both Iran and the agency prefer the issue to be settled within the IAEA framework.

Turning to the US threats against Iran, he said that Washington will never manage to materialize such threats and that it is aware that other factors also play a role in this respect.