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Iran may resume large scale enrichment

Iran said it would no longer consider a proposal to move uranium enrichment programme to Russian territory.

india Updated: Mar 12, 2006 19:28 IST

Iran will no longer consider a proposal to move its uranium enrichment programme to Russian territory and is instead considering large scale uranium enrichment at home, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters on Sunday.

The declaration by Asefi effectively means the Russian proposal is dead after the International Atomic Energy Agency referred Iran to the UN Security Council last week.

Russia has sought to persuade Iran to move its enrichment programme to Russian territory, which would allow closer international monitoring. Iran had insisted that the plan was negotiable and reached basic agreement with Moscow but details were never worked out.

"The Russian proposal is not on our agenda any more," Asefi told reporters.

"Circumstances have changed. We have to wait and see how developments unfold within the five veto-holding countries," he said.

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council have been considering proposals to pressure Iran to resolve questions about its nuclear programme, including demands that it abandon uranium enrichment.

The council has the power to impose political and economic sanctions on Iran if it doesn't back down.

Asked if Iran will resume large scale uranium enrichment in response to Iran's referral to the Security Council, Asefi said: "Regarding industrial scale uranium enrichment, we are going to wait for two, three days."

First Published: Mar 12, 2006 14:46 IST