Fereydoon Abbasi

As preparations progress for the resumption of nuclear talks between Iran and the world powers, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization said today that his country will not stop enriching uranium to the 20-percent level “due to a mere request by others.”

Fereydoon Abbasi Davani said on Tuesday: ”20-percent uranium enrichment is not an issue that requires the agreement or opposition of the Western countries; it is the right of the Iranian people, and we will never give up this right due to a mere request by others. We will produce it as long as there is a need for it.”

“20-percent enrichment is our right for use in the Tehran reactor, and we will defend this right with all our might,” Abbasi Davani said.

The Tehran reactor is a medical research reactor that produces medical isotopes.

While Abbasi Davani expressed little optimism about the attitude of Western negotiators, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said yesterday that both sides in the nuclear talks have “reached the conclusion that they must exit the current impasse.”