Iran Nuclear Chief: Tehran Won't Suspend Higher Grade Uranium Enrichment

Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization says Iran won't stop 20 percent enrichment 'because of the demands of others'; comments renew Iranian defiance ahead of possible nuclear talks with world powers.

Reuters
Reuters
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Reuters
Reuters

Iran will not stop higher-grade enrichment of uranium in response to external demands, Tehran's top nuclear official was quoted as saying on Tuesday, signaling a tough bargaining stance ahead of planned new talks with world powers.

Western powers want Iran to halt enrichment of uranium to a fissile concentration of 20 percent as it represents a significant step closer to the level that would be required to make nuclear bombs. Iran says it needs uranium refined to 20 percent to run its medical research reactor in Tehran.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran will not suspend 20 percent uranium enrichment because of the demands of others," said Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, according to the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA).

"The Islamic Republic of Iran will produce 20 percent enriched uranium to meet its needs and for however long it is required."

He did not specify what he meant by Iran's needs. Western diplomats say Iran already has produced sufficient quantities to fuel its Tehran Research Reactor for several years. Abbasi-Davani has in the past said Iran plans to build another research reactor.

"Twenty percent enrichment is the right of the Iranian nation for use in the Tehran reactor and it will defend this right with authority," Abbasi-Davani said.

His comments renewed Iranian defiance in negotiations with world powers that are expected to resume soon, aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the decade-old dispute over Tehran's nuclear ambitions. But he did not appear to categorically rule out that Tehran at some point could shelve the activity.

Last month, the Guardian reported, citing news services in the region, that Iran has suspended its 20-percent uranium enrichment levels in what it claims is a goodwill gesture ahead of scheduled talks with the United States.

A technician checks valves at the uranium conversian facility in Isfahan, 450 km south of Tehran, February 3, 2007.Credit: Reuters

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott