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UPDATED: 08:27, January 13, 2005
Iran to resume uranium enrichment in near future
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A top Iranian security official said here Wednesday that Iran would resume its highly sensitive uranium enrichment in the near future, the official IRNA news agency reported.

"Iran was determined to resume its enrichment activities under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the near future," Hassan Rowhani, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council and chief nuclear negotiator, was quoted as saying.

"Embarking on uranium enrichment activities to produce the fuel needed by nuclear power plants was the absolute right of the countries which are signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty," Rowhani said.

Rowhani, in a meeting with visiting Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Ichiro Isawa, also voiced Tehran's readiness to offer all kinds of commitments to prevent any diversion in its activities towards production of nuclear arms.

"Over 800 person/day of inspections have been carried out in Iran's nuclear installations by the IAEA last year. Such a degree of cooperation proved Tehran's good intentions as well as the peaceful nature of its nuclear activities," Rowhani added.

Uranium enrichment is the crux of the Iranian nuclear issue. The US accused Tehran of developing nuclear weapons secretly, a charge categorically denied by Iran who termed the allegation as politically motivated.

After repeated retreats and bargains, Iran suspended the activities related to the enrichment on Nov. 22. However, it insisted that it would never give up its legal rights and the suspension was only a voluntary and temporary measure to build confidence.

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Chairman of the powerful Expediency Council of Iran, said on Dec. 3 that the maximum duration of Iran's suspension was six months.

Source: Xinhua

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