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Iran unlikely to stop nuclear fuel enrichment

08-16-2010 07:33 BJT

TEHRAN, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Iran said on Sunday it will not stop its nuclear fuel enrichment activities although Russia would provide it with the nuclear fuel needed to run its Bushehr nuclear power plant.

Head of Iran's Majlis (Parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Commission said Sunday that Iran will continue the uranium enrichment process inevitably because the country needs it for its future power plants, official IRNA news agency reported.

Asked by reporters whether Iran will continue the enrichment process after fuel is injected into Bushehr plant, Alaeddin Boroujerdi said that fuel injection and uranium enrichment are two different issues, according to the report.

The Russian Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom) said Friday that the launch of the Bushehr plant in Iran has been set for Aug. 21.

Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi on Friday confirmed next week's fuel injection to his country's first nuclear power plant.

"We are getting ready to transfer fuel of Bushehr power plant to the pool located near the heart of the reactor next week," Salehi was quoted as saying by IRNA.

Also on Friday, Russia announced that accordingly it will begin loading fuel rods into Iran's first nuclear power station at Bushehr next week.

Iran is currently building other nuclear power plants, and has plans to build more in the future or the Russian side will be given the right do so for Iran, Boroujerdi said, arguing that Tehran still needs to provide fuel for the power plant projects.

Boroujerdi also slammed the U.S. and its "allies" for failing to fulfill formal agreements with Iran over providing nuclear fuel for Iran's energy and research establishments, for example the 20- percent enriched fuel needed for Tehran medical research reactor, saying that Tehran has no option but to continue enriching uranium, according to local Press TV satellite channel.

"We have to go ahead with the uranium enrichment activities because we have no confidence in the Western countries," he was quoted as saying on Sunday.

Iranian public opinion has got the message that the western suppliers of fuel are pursuing their financial benefits rather than considering the humanitarian application of nuclear energy, Boroujerdi said.

"The fuel needed for the Bushehr plant was (already) brought to Iran. The fuel will be transferred to the plant next week," the top lawmaker said.

Iran will complete Bushehr under any circumstances, whether Russia participates in supplying its fuel or not, and if Russia refused to supply the needed fuel, Iran will do it by itself, Boroujerdi noted.

The fuel being produced at uranium-enrichment complex in Natanz will be supplied to 20 nuclear power plants whose construction are currently underway, IRNA quoted Boroujerdi as saying.

"Russia has built Bushehr power plant and has undertaken to supply fuel needed to run it. Currently, construction of 20 power plants are underway and the fuel being produced at Natanz nuclear site will be used to operate them," he added.

Boroujerdi's remarks came in response to earlier statements by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Russia will supply fuel to Iran's Bushehr plant which makes Tehran not in need of producing nuclear fuel.

"Hillary Clinton is not aware that supply of fuel by Russia to Bushehr plant has nothing to do with the national enrichment program," he was quoted as saying.

On Saturday, Boroujerdi said the Iranian government is duty- bound to generate 20,000 megawatts of electricity to meet domestic demands based on a parliamentary approval dated four years ago.

Boroujerdi said that the fuel of Bushehr nuclear power plant was shipped to Iran some two years ago, and Clinton is not aware that Iran is currently involved in the construction of 20 power plants with the aim of generating 20,000 megawatts of electricity within 20 years.

Boroujerdi also rejected White House spokesman Robert Gibbs' remarks that by using Russian fuel for the Bushehr power plant, Iran will be no longer in need of the enrichment operations.

On Friday, Gibbs said "Russia is providing the fuel and taking the fuel back out," which means that Iran does not need its own enrichment program.

"The White House spokesman should increase his nuclear knowledge, because the issue of providing fuel for the Bushehr power plant has nothing to do with (uranium) enrichment," he was quoted by semi-official Fars news agency on Saturday.

 

Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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