Enriching uranium with 20% purity on table: Iranian MP

November 16, 2009

TEHRAN – A senior lawmaker said on Sunday that the “best option” to provide fuel for the Tehran research reactor is to buy uranium enriched to 20 percent without being involved in a discussions over a nuclear fuel exchange and the second option is that Iran itself enrich uranium with such a purity.

“We think the best option to provide fuel for the Tehran reactor is to buy fuel,” Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee rapporteur Kazem Jalali told the Mehr News Agency.
Jalili said International Atomic Energy Agency is legally obligated to help purchase fuel for the reactor from countries member to the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
He said an insistence on purchasing fuel will be put into test the sincerity of Western countries in selling fuel for the research reactor which produces radioisotopes for cancer patients.
However, the veteran lawmaker added, “The second option to provide fuel for the Tehran reactor is to enrich 5 percent enriched uranium to 20 percent under the supervision of the agency.”
According to a draft deal drawn up by the IAEA, a large consignment of Iran’s enriched uranium would be shipped out of the country for processing into fuel rods with a purity of 20 percent for the Tehran reactor. However, many Iranian officials, including parliamentarians, believe that that Iran should buy the fuel for the reactor without sending its own low-enriched uranium (LEU) abroad.
Some lawmakers say there is no guarantee that France, Russia or the U.S. would send nuclear fuel to Iran if Tehran ships its low-enriched uranium to these countries.
Jalali had earlier said attempts by the West to complicate a simple issue like providing fuel to the reactor is primarily intended to “distract attention” from Iran’s package of proposals.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner who is famous for his language against Iran has claimed that Iran has in effect rejected the draft deal for exchanging fuel.
""In practice, the answer has almost been given and it is negative. That is a shame, a shame, a shame,"" Kouchner told the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot in an interview published on Sunday