TEHRAN, Iran - Iran's foreign minister denied Tuesday the remark of the UN
nuclear chief that his country has temporarily slowed its nuclear program,
insisting that Iran's enrichment of uranium was continuing unabated.
"Iran's legitimate activities with
the aim of producing fuel ... is continuing its natural trend," Foreign Minister
Manouchehr Mottaki told a press conference. "There has been no change in that
A general view at the beginning of an IAEA board of governors
meeting at Vienna's UN headquarters March 6, 2007. [AP]
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, said
Monday that Iran appeared to have at least temporarily paused on the development
of its uranium enrichment program. Enriched uranium is used to fuel nuclear
power stations and, taken to a higher degree, can be used in the manufacture of
Speaking to reporters in Vienna, ElBaradei said: "I do not believe that the
number of centrifuges has increased, nor do I believe that (new) nuclear
material has been introduced to the centrifuges (in the enrichment center) at
The IAEA has installed cameras at the enrichment center in Natanz.
Iran's Atomic Energy Organization also said Tuesday there had been no change
in the enrichment schedule.
"Iran's enrichment activities in Natanz is continuing as planned. No change
has been made," the official Islamic Republic News Agency quoted the
organization as saying in a statement.
The U.S. and its allies fear that Iran will use enrichment to build nuclear
weapons, but Tehran insists it is enriching uranium only to have its own source
of fuel for power plants.
The U.N. Security Council's permanent members and Germany are currently
discussing strengthening sanctions imposed on Iran in December for its refusal
to halt enrichment.