Russia and Iran agree to enrichment venture
Updated: 2006-02-27 08:53
MOSCOW (AP) -- Iran's nuclear chief said Sunday that Moscow and Tehran had
agreed in principle to set up a joint uranium enrichment venture, Russian news
Gholamreza Aghazadeh, who heads Iran's Atomic Energy Organization of Iran,
said the two nations had agreed in principle on Moscow's proposal to enrich
Iranian uranium in Russia, the ITAR-Tass and Interfax news agencies reported.
Previous talks on the Moscow offer, backed by the United States and the
European Union, brought no visible breakthrough.
Russian nuclear chief Sergei Kiriyenko, who met with Aghazadeh in Iran on
Sunday, said Moscow would insist on resolving the Iranian nuclear dispute within
the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency, RIA Novosti news agency reported.
Kiriyenko said Russia would stress its position at a March 6 meeting of the
IAEA. The meeting could start a process leading to punishment by the U.N.
Security Council. The council has the authority to impose sanctions on Iran.
Moscow has been struggling to persuade Tehran to return to a moratorium on
uranium enrichment and agree to shift its enrichment program to Russian
territory to ease world concerns it could divert enriched uranium to a weapons
Such steps would ease pressure on the Security Council -- whose veto-wielding
members are the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France -- to punish
Tehran and could foster further diplomacy.