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Iran says uranium enrichment, fuel deal separate issues

2010-02-08 09:21 BJT

TEHRAN, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Iran said on Sunday that its plan to carry out 20 percent uranium enrichment and a possible fuel deal with foreign countries are two separate issues, the official IRNA news agency reported.

"President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's order to start 20 percent uranium enrichment is quite natural. That has nothing to do with Iran's agreement to fuel swap," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast was quoted as saying.

"We had formerly said that providing fuel for Tehran medical reactor will be possible in three ways: purchase, exchange and production inside the country," Mehman-Parast said.

"Opting for one of the three choices will not mean putting aside the other ones. Even we can follow up all the three choices simultaneously," he added.

Mehman-Parast said that as the need for nuclear fuel grows worldwide, moving towards production of the fuel, especially by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) members, will be something quite natural.

Earlier on Sunday, Ahmadinejad ordered the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) to start work on enriching uranium to a purity of 20 percent, the Mehr news agency reported.

However, Ahmadinejad said Iran is still ready for exchange of nuclear fuel with world powers, the report said.

Editor: Zhang Ning | Source: Xinhua