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Iran to resume nuclear fuel research

Iran will resume nuclear fuel research despite Western warnings it could jeopardise efforts to end the long-running standoff.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2006 15:08 IST

Iran said it will resume nuclear fuel research on Monday, despite Western warnings it could jeopardise any efforts to end the long-running standoff over Tehran's nuclear programme.

"Today, under the supervision of the agency, research activities will resume," government spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham said, referring to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog.

Europe has warned the move would jeopardise any resumption of wider talks on ending the crisis with the West over Iran's nuclear activities.

Washington, which accuses Iran of seeking to build nuclear weapons, has also said any resumption of research into the fuel cycle might spur it to seek Iran's referral to the UN Security Council for enforcement action.

Iran has been trying to make a distinction between research into the nuclear fuel cycle and actual production of enriched uranium, which can be used as fuel in civil reactors or, in highly enriched form, as the explosive core of an atom bomb.

The announcement came after talks between Russia and Iran on a proposed compromise to end the row over uranium enrichment broke off without result on Sunday but are due to resume in a month.

"Negotiations to reach a final conclusion are going to be continued on February 16 in Moscow," said Hossein Entezami, spokesman for the National Security Council which is in charge of the nuclear file.

First Published: Jan 09, 2006 15:08 IST