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UPDATED: 08:56, December 27, 2005
Iran welcomes Russia's role in enrichment program
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Iran said Monday that it welcomes participation of Russia and other countries in its uranium enrichment program, stressing such cooperation must be in line with Iran's principles.

"Russia as well as other world countries can participate in Iran's peaceful nuclear program within the framework of Iran's proclaimed principles," government spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham was quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying.

Elham said uranium enrichment inside Iran, seeking an atmosphere of trust and providing objective guarantees on the peaceful nature of enrichment activities in accordance with international conventions are three principles of Iran to deal with its nuclear issue.

"The Iranian government has clarified its position on the issue for several times ... Iran has already announced the domain of its nuclear activities as a commercial one in which foreign investments would be welcomed," Elham added.

Elham's comments came as Vyacheslav Moshkalo, counselor of the Russian Embassy in Tehran, said that Moscow was waiting for Tehran 's reply to Russia's offer to move Iran's uranium enrichment to Russia.

"We presented an official memo to Iran on Saturday. We are waiting for a reply," Moshkalo was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.

The Russian proposal, firstly revealed in November but rejected by Tehran, is aimed at providing what the European Union (EU) and the United States ask for as objective guarantees that Iran's nuclear research will not be used for military purposes.

On Sunday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi denied receiving any substantial proposal from Russia, saying that Iran will consider proposals which recognize and secure the country's legal right for uranium enrichment on the Iranian soil.

Alaeddin Borujerdi, chairman of Iran's Majlis (parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said on Sunday that the government must clarify to Russia Iran's position on enrichment at home.

Iran is under pressure of the European Union, the longtime broker of the Iranian nuclear issue, to accept the Russian proposal.

The United States accuses Iran of developing nuclear weapons secretly, a charge rejected by Tehran as politically motivated.

Source: Xinhua

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