Iran says sanctions `may slow down` nuclear work

Newly-imposed sanctions "may slow down" Tehran`s nuclear drive, including its sensitive uranium enrichment work, but will not halt the programme, atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi on Wednesday said.

Updated: Jul 07, 2010, 20:42 PM IST

Tehran: Newly-imposed sanctions "may slow
down" Tehran`s nuclear drive, including its sensitive uranium
enrichment work, but will not halt the programme, atomic chief
Ali Akbar Salehi on Wednesday said.

Salehi`s comments marked the first time a top Iranian
official has acknowledged the impact of the new sanctions
imposed on June 9.
"One can`t say sanctions are ineffective," ISNA news
agency quoted Salehi, who supervises Iran`s nuclear programme,
as saying at a press conference in the southern port city of
Bushehr.

"If sanctions are aimed at preventing Iran`s nuclear
activities... we say they may slow down the work, but will not
stop the activities. This is a certainty."

Salehi, who is also one of the several vice presidents in
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad`s government, said the sanctions
would not affect nuclear plants such as the one being built in
Bushehr, but could impact the uranium enrichment programme by
making it difficult to procure certain equipment.

"The Bushehr site is not (affected) by the sanctions and
Russian officials have repeatedly maintained that the
sanctions are not targetting Bushehr," he said.

"But in the issue of enrichment, we may face problems
with some equipment such as measuring instruments," he said.

Salehi, however, expressed confidence that Iran would be
able to make such equipment locally.
"As we have manufactured several pieces of equipment
ourselves, if we face a problem over this equipment (related
to enrichment work) we will manufactureit," he said.

PTI