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Iran has halted production of 20% enriched uranium?

By Supriya Jha | Last Updated: Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 15:35

Zee Media Bureau

Tehran: Adding to a list of conciliatory statements made by Iran of late, a top lawmaker has said that the country has stopped the production of 20% enriched Uranium, as it had "enough stocks" for now, reports said Thursday.

The comment was made by a prominent Iranian MP named Hossein Naqvi Hosseini who told the country`s Parliament`s official site ICANA that Iran didn`t need 20% enriched Uranium anymore as the nuclear reactors in Tehran had been supplied with sufficient Uranium, reported the New York Times.

"We have enough stocks for now," Hosseini told Icana website.

The report in New york Times, authored by Thomas Erdbrink, says that if confirmed, then it may take Iran a step closer "to accepting one of the main demands of world powers, that it suspend the enrichment of uranium, especially up to 20 percent".

However, Hosseini said that Iran was not ready to ship out its stockpile of 20 percent enriched Uranium abroad, and rather use it for the country`s nuclear rods, the NY Times reporter tweeted.

Iranian MP`s remarkable comment comes on the heels of the Geneva nuclear talks held lat week between Iran and P5+1 (US,France, Britain, Russia, UK and Germany), in which Tehran proposed to allow spot checks on its nuclear sites and also presented a three-step plan to resolve the controversy around its nuclear programme within a year.

Halting the production of enriched uranium, which is thought to be a raw material for nuclear weapons, was one of the main demands put forward by the world powers during the talks and if substantiated that Iran has complied to this demand, it may prove to be a big step in resolving the controversy over Iran nuke talks.

The Iranian MP`s comments also comes on a day when Israel repeated its suspicion against Iran`s intentions with Israel`s international affairs minister saying that the sanctions against Tehran must not be relaxed until there is "an agreement guaranteeing 100 percent that Iran will never be able to have a nuclear weapon."

Israeli minister Yuval Steinitz, who is on a visit to US with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss Iran, said that Israel and US had minor differences over how to act on Iran.

"We generally see eye to eye with the Americans on the final objective, which is to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, but there are sometimes small differences over the way to do that," Steinitz told an Israeli public radio.

Israel has been mortified by the recent indications of thaw between Iran and West, especially after a 15 minutes phone call made by US President Barack Obama to Hassan Rouhani.

Israel has warned the US against Rouhani`s "sweet lies" and charm offensive and fears that the country might continue to enrich Uranium despite its conciliatory words.
Iran maintains that its nuclear programme is solely for peaceful purposes like power generation and medical usages, but the West and now especially Israel, doubt that Tehran is pursuing its nuclear weapons` ambitions under the guise of peaceful atomic energy.

First Published: Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 14:33
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