Iran will not ship out enriched uranium: negotiator

Iran will not ship out enriched uranium: negotiator
Sun Oct 13, 2013 13:41:43

Iran will not agree to ship out its stockpile of enriched uranium, one of its main negotiators said Sunday ahead of talks with world powers on its nuclear program.

"We will negotiate about the volume, levels and the methods of enrichment but shipping out the (enriched) material is a red line for Iran," deputy foreign minister Seyyed Abbas Araqchi said on Sunday.

The remarks came on the eve of two-day talks in Geneva, the first meeting between Iranian negotiators and world powers since President Hassan Rouhani took office in August.

Iran currently has a stockpile of 6,774 kilograms of low-level uranium enriched, and nearly 186 kg of medium-enriched material with 20 percent purity, according to latest figures by the UN nuclear watchdog in September.

It also possesses some 187 kg of the 20 percent material converted to uranium oxide for use in fuel plates.

"The Iranian negotiating team will present a specific plan ... which we hope will produce results in a logical time period," Araqchi said.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is Iran's top negotiator with the so-called P5+1 group of the United States, Britain, China, France and Russia plus Germany.

But Araqchi said he will lead the Iranian team in the talks with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and representatives from the P5+1 countries as Zarif will only attend the opening meeting.

He said Iran would "remove all of (the) rational concerns of the other side."

The United States, Israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program, with the US and European Union using the claim as an excuse to impose illegal sanctions against Tehran.

Iran categorically rejects the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.


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