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US should provide Iran with reactors: Elbaradei

UN nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei has also urged Tehran to declare a moratorium on enriching uranium for at least eight years.

india Updated: Jan 28, 2006 09:01 IST

UN nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei has called on the United States to provide Iran with nuclear reactors, and urged Tehran to declare a moratorium on enriching uranium for at least eight years.

He said eight or nine years would enable the country to earn the confidence of the international community that it was really interested in nuclear energy - not nuclear weapons.

The Iranians argue that they need to develop an enrichment capability because they cannot be assured of a guaranteed supply of fuel for a peaceful nuclear energy programme, ElBaradei said at a panel at the World Economic Forum on Friday.

"I would separate the issues of using nuclear technology for energy and to produce weapons," he said.

"I would call upon the United States to provide Iran with reactors, and I would call upon Iran to declare a moratorium on enrichment for at least eight or nine years" until the country can earn the global community's confidence.

Iran provoked an international outcry on January 10 when it cut seals of the International Atomic Energy Agency at its main enrichment plant and resumed small-scale enrichment of uranium - a process that can be used to produce fuel for generating electricity or material for atomic bombs.

Britain, France and Germany - who have been leading European Union efforts to get Iran to abandon uranium conversion and enrichment activities - succeeded in getting the IAEA's board to meet February 2 to discuss taking action against Iran, a move supported by the United States.

First Published: Jan 28, 2006 09:01 IST