The head of Iran’s Atomic Agency says shutting down the Fordo nuclear site is “illogical” and will not be an option for Iran.
The Fars News Agency reports that Fereydoon Abbasi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Agency, told the Jam-e Jam television station that the G5+1 should not ask for the closure of the Fordo plant.
The New York Times cited U.S. diplomats yesterday saying that world powers would probably call on Iran to close Fordo, Iran’s underground nuclear-enrichment plant.
Abbasi indicated, however, that Iran may be willing to compromise by promising to eventually abandon its ability to make nuclear fuel. Abbasi indicated that the production of uranium that’s enriched to 20-percent purity is not a part of the nation’s long-term program and, except for the amount needed for its research reactor in Tehran, Iran does not need to enrich uranium beyond the 20-percent level.
He said: “The job is being carried out based on need; when the need is met, we will decrease production, and it is even possible to completely revert to just 3.5-percent enrichment.”
Abbasi added that Iran has reached self-sufficiency in the production of nuclear fuel and can engage in training programs for other countries under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Abbasi said: “We announced that we needed uranium enriched to the 20-percent level and, according to regulations, the IAEA should have mediated a deal for us to get it. But the IAEA did not have the necessary authority to convince countries that have this fuel to fulfill our need at a reasonable price. We had a need and, therefore, acted to produce this fuel and now we have the necessary amount of fuel.”
Foreign media have focused on Abbasi’s statements indicating that the suspension of high-level uranium enrichment was a future possibility.
Abbasi has said, however, that Iran will only do this once it has stored the necessary amount of fuel.
The new round of talks will take place on April 14. The venue for the talks is still under debate, although latest reports suggest Iran has confirmed they will be held in Istanbul.