TEHRAN — Iran will produce its own enriched uranium for a medical research reactor in Tehran if the UN atomic watchdog fails to provide the nuclear fuel, a senior hardline cleric said on Saturday.
Ahmad Khatami, speaking at a Tehran University prayer service to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, warned world powers that Iran will not be cowed by threats or swayed by “bribery” to give up its right to nuclear technology.
He was responding to a resolution adopted on Friday by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) demanding that Iran halt construction of a new uranium enrichment facility near the Shiite holy city of Qom.
Uranium enrichment is the process used to make fuel for nuclear power plants, but when extended it can also produce fissile material for an atomic bomb as well as potentially supplying the medical research reactor.
Western powers have long suspected that Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb, although the Islamic republic denies the charge, and Tehran’s disclosure in September of the previously secret new plant triggered widespread outrage.
Iran vehemently denies that its atomic programme has military aims and insists it has the right to enrich uranium and make nuclear fuel.
Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, reiterated on Saturday that his country would in future limit its cooperation with the agency to the terms of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, of whic… >>>