|Iran will not close Fordo nuclear plant: source||
TEHRAN – Iran would not suspend activities at the Fordo enrichment plant, the ISNA news agency said on Tuesday, quoting an informed source.
According to the source, Iran would not come up with any fresh proposal to the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) in New York and it would await the other side’s offers.
His comments came after the Spiegel weekly published an article on Monday claiming that Iranian President Hassan Rohani is reportedly prepared to decommission the Fordo enrichment plant and allow international inspectors to monitor the removal of the centrifuges.
According to the article, in return Rohani could demand that the United States and Europe rescind their sanctions against the Islamic Republic, lift the ban on Iranian oil exports and allow the country’s central bank to do international business again.
The article also said that Rohani reportedly intends to announce the details of the offer, perhaps already during his speech before the United Nations General Assembly at the end of the month. His foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, will meet Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s top diplomat, in New York next Sunday and give her a rough outline of the deal. If he were to make such wide-ranging concessions, President Rohani would initiate a negotiating process that could conceivably even lead to a resumption of bilateral diplomatic relations with Washington.
The article added that other developments seem promising as well. On Monday, Iran’s new nuclear energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi reportedly told the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency member states that the country was ready to “enhance and expand” cooperation.
The United States, Israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Iran has categorically rejected the allegation, saying it is enriching uranium only for medical purposes and fueling nuclear power stations.
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