Iran says won't halt nuclear program
Updated: 2006-02-28 18:41
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Tuesday that Tehran will
not give up its nuclear program, but that ongoing talks with Russia to jointly
enrich uranium would ease international concerns over its nuclear ambitions.
His comments came after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in
a report on Monday that Iran was pursuing a nuclear fuel enrichment program and
obstructing U.N. probes spurred by suspicions it is seeking to build nuclear
"We would like to enjoy our rights like Japan to have nuclear technology, of
course for peaceful purposes," Mottaki told reporters after meeting Japanese
Trade Minister Toshihiro Nikai.
"The Russian proposal would be a bridge between Iran's right to peaceful use
of nuclear energy and (gaining) international trust," a Japanese official quoted
Mottaki as telling Nikai.
On Sunday, Iran's nuclear chief said Tehran had reached a "basic" agreement
with Russia on a joint venture to enrich uranium, but it was unclear if that
meant Iran would give up enrichment work at home, the main demand of Western
Mottaki told Nikai that Iran and Russia were still discussing where to carry
out the joint enrichment, according to the Japanese official, who attended the
Moscow had originally proposed that Iran's uranium be enriched in Russia to
clear suspicions that Tehran might divert the nuclear fuel for a weapons
But Iran has insisted on the right to enrich uranium on its own soil, saying
its nuclear program is to meet increasing electricity demand caused by an