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Iran has refused to take part in international discussions on a proposal to freeze its civilian nuclear power uranium enrichment program and in turn to receive enriched uranium from abroad.
In discussing Iran’s negotiating position Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Director Fereydoun Abbasi said flatly, "We will not hold talks on the issue of freezing uranium production and uranium exchange plans any longer."
Abbasi’s remarks were in response to a proposal extended by the Vienna Group, which includes the International Atomic Energy Agency, Russia, France and the United States, which delineated an offer to enrich Iran's uranium intended for Tehran's experimental reactor abroad.
On 29 August Abbasi stated that Iran was enriching uranium up to a level of 20 percent for use in a reactor producing radioactive isotopes for medical usage, Russia’s Agentstvo Voyennykh Novostei news agency reported.
Abassi added, "We will no longer negotiate a fuel swap and a halt to our production of fuel. The United States is not a safe country with which we can negotiate a fuel swap or any other issue."
A number of Western countries, led by the United States and Israel, suspect that Iran’s civilian nuclear program in reality is a cover of an Iranian effort to development nuclear weapons, a charge Iran steadfastly denies, pointing to its signing on the Non-Proliferation Treaty even while insisting that it has the legal right to develop nuclear energy for civilian power generation. The U.N. Security Council has ordered Tehran to halt all uranium enrichment until the International Atomic Energy Agency confirms that Iran’s nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
By. Joao Peixe, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com