Iran: We’ll be able to enrich uranium even if attacked

Jpost.com – January 20, 2011

Iran will be able to enrich uranium even in the event of a military attack on its nuclear facilities, Reuters quoted Tehran’s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency as saying in Moscow on Thursday.  

“We are faced with a very serious threat and so we have had to take measures to protect our facilities. We have provided for another facility in Fardo near Qom,” Ali Asghar Soltanieh said.Davotoglu urged Iran to offer assurances that it won’t seek nuclear weapons, and said all countries have the right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

“It is, so to speak, a reserve facility, so that if a site is attacked, we can continue the enrichment process,” he added.

Soltanieh’s remarks came prior to talks between Iran and world powers scheduled to take place on Friday.

Earlier on Thursday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu urged Iran to offer assurances that it won’t seek nuclear weapons, and said all countries have the right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

“We are faced with a very serious threat and so we have had to take measures to protect our facilities. We have provided for another facility in Fardo near Qom,” Ali Asghar Soltanieh said.

“It is, so to speak, a reserve facility, so that if a site is attacked, we can continue the enrichment process,” he added.

Soltanieh’s remarks came prior to talks between Iran and world powers scheduled to take place on Friday.

Earlier on Thursday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Dovutaglu urge Iran to offer assurances that it won’t seek nuclear weapons, and said all countries have the right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
 
 He spoke during a news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who urged Iran to allow inspection of its nuclear sites.

At the same meeting, Russia cautioned the US not to undermine negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program by threatening the Persian Gulf country with more sanctions.

“Unilateral sanctions are serving as spoilers and undermine efforts for a joint solution,” Lavrov said in Istanbul. “They are counterproductive.

 Diplomats from the US and Iran will try to overcome mutual distrust in the Turkish city at the second meeting since last month to discuss Iran’s nuclear research. The US “may be proposing more unilateral sanctions,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday in a televised interview in Washington with ABC.

 The P5+1 group, composed of China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK and US, is represented at the talks by European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. The P5+1 will press Iran to resolve international concerns over its nuclear work while the Iranian government will try to broaden the meeting to include regional security issues, say analysts and diplomats connected with the talks.

At the meeting, Iran plans to propose a different version of a nuclear fuel swap at this weekend’s talks with world powers, Reuters reported on Thursday.

The swap is reportedly a revised version of a deal Iran agreed to in 2009, which later fell apart.

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