Sunday, September 05, 2004

Iran 'ready to give nuke guarantees'

Herald Sun: Iran 'ready to give nuke guarantees' [03sep04]: "Iran 'ready to give nuke guarantees'
From correspondents in Tehran
03sep04

AN Iranian nuclear official said today that Tehran was ready to provide guarantees that its enrichment programs would never be used for military purposes.

Hossein Moussavian, an aide to the head of Iran's nuclear program, Hassan Rohani, told state television that Tehran's pursuit of enrichment has been the main concern of its European partners.
"The Europeans know that if Iran masters the technology for enrichment it has a potential (military) nuclear capability and that will change the (political) equation" in the region, he said.

But Mr Moussavian said that Iran was prepared to guarantee that enrichment would not be used for military purposes.

"We are prepared to build trust and provide a guarantee that our enrichment activities will always be peaceful."

Britain, France and Germany have sought to engage Iran over its pursuit of nuclear technology to ensure it remains peaceful, while the US has accused Tehran of seeking to develop atomic weapons.

Iran was emboldened to advance its nuclear activities after the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) again failed to produce a "smoking gun" confirming US allegations of a secret weapons drive in a report released yesterday.

However, Washington continued efforts to convince IAEA members to refer Iran to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions over its nuclear program.

The IAEA report also signalled that Iran was determined to press on with work on the nuclear fuel cycle - permitted under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) despite its potentially dual-use nature.

According to the report, Iran has said it will resume large-scale production of the feed material for enriching uranium. Enriched uranium can be used to provide fuel for reactors as well as nuclear warheads."

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