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Russia says Iranian decision casts doubt on nuclear program

2010-02-10 10:20 BJT

MOSCOW, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Iran's decision to enrich uranium to higher levels raises doubts about the purpose of its nuclear program, the Russian security council secretary said on Tuesday.

"We do not want Iran to have nuclear weapons. Iran insists that holding nuclear arms is not its goal and that its nuclear program is civilian," Nikolai Patrushev said in televised remarks.

"However, its actions, such as starting to enrich uranium to 20 percent, trigger doubts among other countries and these doubts are quite justified," he said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday also criticized Tehran' s move, saying Moscow was disappointed with the decision that goes against UN resolutions.

"It deepens the doubts of Iran's intentions to relieve international concerns about its nuclear program," ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said.

Iran declared on Tuesday it had started the process of producing 20-percent enriched uranium inside the country.

Under a draft deal brokered by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog, most of Iran's existing low-grade enriched uranium should be shipped to Russia and France, where it would be processed into fuel rods with the purity of 20 percent.

Iran has been at the center of an international dispute over its nuclear plan. The United States and its Western allies have been accusing Iran of secretly developing nuclear weapons under the disguise of a civilian program. Iran has denied the accusation and stressed its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes.


Editor: Zhang Pengfei | Source: Xinhua