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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-05-09

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Russian plan still a possibility, Larijani says

  • [01] Russian plan still a possibility, Larijani says

    A proposal to shift uranium enrichment for Iran's nuclear programme to Russia was still a possibility, Tehran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani told reporters during a press conference held at the Iranian Embassy in Athens on Tuesday, following an earlier meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis.

    The envoy also stressed that Iran's was seeking to develop nuclear power for civil uses only, considering nuclear weapons destructive for global security, and had no reason to withdraw from the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty.

    Larijani underlined that Tehran had not rejected a Russian proposal for the co-production of enriched uranium on Russian soil but said that it needed more time to work on the legal, technical and commercial aspects.

    He accused the international community, driven by United States pressure, of being too hasty in referring the issue to the UN Security Council and preventing an agreement with Russia.

    "It's not too late to put the Iranian nuclear file in the right direction," Larijani said, arguing that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was the appropriate body to handle the file and that it had gone to UN Security Council prematurely.

    According to the Iranian envoy, Iran was still at the stage of researching the uranium enrichment process and had not even constructed the necessary plant or started production of nuclear fuels.

    Larijani underlined that Tehran did not want to withdraw from the nuclear non-proliferation Treaty but did wish to exercise the rights arising from international agreements.

    "There must be a balance between the rights and obligations that arise from the Treaty. I don't think it is particularly just to observe the obligations but not have any of the rights that arise from this Treaty," he added.

    The envoy also reiterated that Tehran will cooperate fully if the file is returned to the IAEA.

    During the press conference, Larijani stressed the importance that Tehran attaches to Greece's position on the issue.

    Larijani, who is also the secretary of Iran's powerful Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), arrived in Athens from Ankara, Turkey, where he held lengthy talks with Turkish leadership a day earlier.

    Larijani's surprise trip to Athens came hours after a meeting of the foreign ministers of the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany in New York to discuss a draft Security Council resolution admonishing Iran.

    The talks failed to reach a breakthrough as China and Russia are reluctant to take a tough position toward Iran, as advocated by the United States, Britain, France and Germany.

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