Iran rejects proposal, will resume nuke activity

Stop Islamic FundamentalismTehran, Jan. 03 (Stop Fundamentalism) – Iran rejected on Tuesday any proposal aimed at defusing the international standoff over its suspected nuclear weapons program which involved Tehran enriching uranium exclusively in Russia.

Also on Tuesday Iran told the International Atomic Energy Agency that it would resume nuclear-fuel research on January 9, a move likely to alarm the West which believes Tehran is seeking to make atom bombs.

IAEA ElBaradei informed all countries on the agency’s board about Iran’s note.

Mohammad Saeedi, deputy head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation, had announced earlier in the day that the nuclear fuel work would resume shortly.

Research on nuclear fuel may include some small-scale testing of sensitive atomic processes, including uranium enrichment, an activity Iran has said it is keen to master.

Iran says its nuclear work aims only to generate civilian electricity. But it concealed atomic development activities from the IAEA for 18 years until 2003, raising Western suspicions.

The IAEA statement said ElBaradei reiterated the importance of Iran maintaining its suspension of all activities related to enrichment of uranium, the key ingredient in nuclear bombs, to restore international confidence in its intentions.

AFP reported Tuesday that France called on Iran to reverse its decision to restart nuclear research after a two-year suspension, and said Tehran should respond to the concerns of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"We would like Iran to abide by the suspension of all activities related to the enrichment and reprocessing (of uranium) as agreed in November 2004, which includes centrifuges and research," foreign ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei told reporters. 
France, along with Britain and Germany, has led EU negotiations with Iran aimed at curbing its nuclear program to ensure it cannot be used to produce weapons.

Such a step would be certain to cause further strains with the European atomic negotiating partners, following Teheran’s insistence that it has a right to pursue enrichment.