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Iran Announces Supply of Home-Made N. Fuel to TRR

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, April 13 (ICANA) – Iran announced on Wednesday that it will soon supply the Tehran Research Reactor with the nuclear fuel enriched inside Iran.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011 9:44:49 PM
Iran Announces Supply of Home-Made N. Fuel to TRR

"Our scientists took action to supply fuel for the Tehran research reactor and this fuel which is the fruit of the efforts made by our country's scientists will be loaded into the Tehran Research Reactor this year," Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Undersecretary Ali Baqeri said, addressing a ceremony to mark the National Day of Nuclear Technology in Iran's Northwestern provincial capital city of Zanjan.

Baqeri further stated that despite the pressures imposed on Iran, the country's nuclear development continues its path powerfully.

Iran's move to use nuclear fuel in its research reactor came after the West failed to fulfill its pledge to supply nuclear fuel for the reactor.

After Iran announced to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 2009 that it would soon run out of nuclear fuel for its research reactor in Tehran, the Agency proposed a deal according to which Iran would send 3.5-percent-enriched uranium and receive 20-percent-enriched uranium from potential suppliers in return, all through the UN nuclear watchdog agency.

The proposal was first introduced on October 1, 2009 when Iranian representatives and diplomats from the Group 5+1 held high-level talks in Geneva.

But France and the United States, as potentials suppliers, stalled the talks soon after the start. They offered a deal which would keep Tehran waiting for months before it could obtain the fuel, a luxury of time that Iran could not afford as it is about to run out of 20-percent-enriched uranium.

The Iranian parliament rejected the deal after technical studies showed that it would only take two to three months for any country to further enrich the nuclear stockpile and turn it into nuclear metal rods for the Tehran Research Reactor, while suppliers had announced that they would not return fuel to Iran any less than seven months.

Iran then put forward its own proposal that envisaged a two-staged exchange. According to Tehran's offer, the IAEA would safeguard nearly one third of Iran's uranium stockpile inside the Iranian territory for the time that it took to find a supplier. The western countries opposed Tehran's proposal.

Subsequently, Iranian, Brazilian and Turkish officials on May 17, 2010 signed an agreement named the 'Tehran Declaration' which presented a solution to the longstanding standoff between Iran and potential suppliers of nuclear fuel. According to the agreement, Iran would send some 1200 kg of its 3.5% enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for a total 120 kg of 20% enriched fuel.

But again the western countries showed a negative and surprising reaction to the Tehran Declaration and sponsored a sanctions resolution against Iran at the UN Security Council instead of taking the opportunity presented by the agreement.

Russia, France, and the US, in three separate letters, instead of giving a definite response to the Tehran Declaration, raised some questions about the deal, and the US took a draft sanctions resolution against Iran to the UN Security Council, which was later approved by the Council.

Iran in a letter responded to the questions raised by the Vienna Group on the Tehran Declaration and voiced its preparedness to hold talks.

In a later move, IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano proposed a plan to resume talks between the two sides, and former Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki announced Tehran's agreement with Amano's proposal.

"Iran is ready to take part in the meeting brokered by Amano," Mottaki said.

He referred to Iran's letter to Amano in which the country had declared its readiness for talks with the Vienna Group and said, "Mr. Amano has forwarded the letter to other members of the group and it seems that he is arranging for holding the meeting."

Mottaki said that the country wants to determine and approve details of fuel swap through talks with Vienna Group.

Yet, despite all the efforts Iran has made so far to swap or supply fuel from potential suppliers, West has refrained to do so.

After Iran saw western suppliers rock the boat and shrug off their responsibility - as enshrined in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) statute - it started domestic plans to enrich uranium to the purity level of 20 percent.

In April 2010, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ordered the AEOI head to start domestic plans to supply fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor which produces radioisotopes for medicinal use.

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