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News number: 8809221373

15:11 | 2009-12-13

Nuclear

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Expert: West Accepts Iran as Civilian N. Power

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior non-proliferation expert underlined that there is no doubt that the West does accept Iran as a civilian nuclear power.



Mark Fitzpatrick, from the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) in London, however told the Islamic republic news agency that the West does not accept Iran as a "potential nuclear weapons power".

"Iran has been accepted as a nuclear energy power since 2005 and there is no doubt that it has the right to access nuclear energy for peaceful purposes," He added.

Fitzpatrick said that the only way Iran could have nuclear fuel for research purposes is to supply it from France as the IAEA has no nuclear fuel of its own.

"It can only be supplied by individual countries such as Argentina and France. Argentina has a political issue with Iran. And France was persuaded by the US and Russia to supply the fuel under conditions that could create confidence. However, Iran rejected the deal," the expert noted.

According to Fitzpatrick, the IAEA has recently adopted a plan for a multilateral uranium fuel supply bank to stem the spread of nuclear arms as more countries seek atomic energy.

Asked about Iran's new plan to build 10 new nuclear sites, Fitzpatrick said although the country is technically capable of operating centrifuges and cascades, "It is a huge aggregation that Iran could set up and operate 10 new enrichment sites."

"There is no question that Iran can operate centrifuges and enrich uranium but it does not have enough uranium ore to supply new centrifuges with the feed," he went on saying.

Fitzpatrick said Iran and the West should "try to find a confidence-building solution" to the nuclear issue.