Iran all set to sell nuclear fuel abroad
The Islamic Republic was ready to sell nuclear fuel to international buyers was said the Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, after his country was accused of secretly developing nuclear arms by Washington.Updated: Feb 17, 2004 15:30 IST
The Islamic Republic was ready to sell nuclear fuel to international buyers wassaid the Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, after his country was accused of secretly developing nuclear arms by Washington.
Iran rejects U.S. charges that it seeks nuclear weapons and insists it will enrich uranium only to the level needed to fuel power stations and not to higher, weapons-grade purity.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran, as a country that has the potential to produce nuclear fuel, is ready to offer (that) fuel to international markets," he told the official IRNA news agency at a Tehran airport after a trip to Italy and the Vatican.
Britain, France and Germany last year persuaded Iran to suspend uranium enrichment and accept snap inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a U.N. watchdog.
Iran insists its suspension of uranium enrichment is a temporary goodwill gesture. Diplomats report Iranian failure to suspend all enrichment-related activities has annoyed France and Britain.
Washington this week upped pressure on Tehran after the IAEA discovered undeclared drawings of centrifuges that can be used to make bomb-grade material.
The United States made clearthat it would give Iran more time to disclose its nuclear programnes before deciding whether to refer the issue to the U.N. Security Council, which could impose sanctions.
Iran Pledges Co-operation
Western diplomats in Vienna said the drawings showed Tehran had not complied with a demand from the IAEA governing board that it provide a full and truthful account of its entire nuclear program.
But Kharrazi pledged Iranian cooperation with the U.N. nuclear watchdog.
"The United States is following its own agenda as it did before and intends to put the agency and its governing council under new pressure," he said.
The IAEA board shall meet again on March 8.
First Published: Feb 17, 2004 00:00 IST