Iran should pay for nuclear fuel and reject swap deal: Rohani

February 21, 2010 - 0:0

TEHRAN - Expediency Council Strategic Research Center Director Hassan Rohani has said that Iran should pay money to buy nuclear fuel and should not exchange its low-enriched uranium for 20 percent enriched nuclear fuel.

“We should only pay money to buy 20 percent (enriched) uranium, like the entire world. We need the 3.5 percent enriched uranium for a reactor we are planning to build in Darkhovin. We should produce the (enriched) uranium and work hard to provide fuel for the reactor when it comes on stream,” Rohani stated in an interview with the Mehr News Agency published on Saturday.
Many countries routinely ask the International Atomic Energy Agency to provide nuclear fuel for their reactors, and the IAEA has a responsibility to supply the fuel for the Tehran research reactor, Rohani said.
He stated that Iran asked the IAEA for nuclear fuel during the administration of former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (1989-1997) and the agency purchased the fuel for Iran from Argentina and the Tehran research reactor is still running on that fuel.
Rohani said exchanging low-enriched uranium for 20 percent nuclear fuel is actually like a suspension of enrichment for four years because, according to the proposed fuel exchange deal, Iran should give foreign countries a large consignment of the enriched uranium it has stockpiled over the past four years.
He criticized the officials who put forward the proposal for a nuclear fuel swap and said Iran’ nuclear dossier was referred to UN Security Council because the country refused to halt enrichment.
Even if Iran decides to agree to the nuclear fuel swap, it should demand that Iran’s nuclear dossier be sent back to the IAEA, he added.
Rohani also said that the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program started during former prime minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi’s administration (1981-1989), and all the necessary equipment was provided during former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani’s administration (1989-1997), and the country succeeded in domestically producing centrifuges during former president Mohammad Khatami’s administration (1997-2005).