Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Iran will stop its uranium-enrichment program if the International Atomic Energy Agency provides the necessary fuel for Iran’s research nuclear reactor.
ISNA reports that at a press conference in New York, Ahmadinejad said: “According to the [agency’s] regulations, members that have access to 20-percent enriched fuel should provide it for other members without any pre-conditions. We expressed our need according to this regulation, but they chose to set up conditions that were outside the regulations. So we were forced to produce the 20-percent enriched fuel ourselves.”
He went on to add that this research reactor helps in the medical treatment of 800,000 patients, who will suffer if the reactor ceases operation.
Iran maintains that this reactor is used for peaceful and medical purposes. The reactor was built in Iran in 1967. Fuel was provided by the U.S. prior to 1979 and afterward by Argentina.
The U.S. and the West are concerned that the research reactor is being put to military use.
Recently, Iran announced that it is transferring its uranium-enrichment facilities from Natanz to Ferdo.
Fereydoon Abbasi, the head of Iran’s atomic energy agency, previously had announced that Iran is seeking to produce more fuel at the 20-percent level.
The European Union responded by saying Iran was in violation of the UN resolution, and the U.S. called it a “provocative” move.
Iran rejects Western concerns about its nuclear program and consistently insists that all of its nuclear efforts are peaceful.
In addition to four UN resolutions imposing sanctions, the EU and the U.S. have also imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran to protest its nuclear activities.