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Iran to involve foreign investments in nuclear program
www.chinaview.cn 2005-11-06 03:33:13

    TEHRAN, Nov. 5 (Xinhuanet) -- The Iranian government has approved a plan to involve foreign enterprises and organizations into the country's uranium enrichment program, the semi-official Mehr newsagency reported on Saturday.

    Mehr said the plan was ratified at Wednesday's cabinet meeting, which paved the way for international parties to participate in the work at the uranium enrichment plant located in the central Iranian town of Natanz.

    The cabinet has also authorized the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) to take necessary measures to attract foreign and domestic investment in the uranium enrichment process, the report said.

    Managerial methods as well as allocation of shares of every active participant will be suggested by the AEOI but ratified by the cabinet, Mehr added.

    The plan will be sent to the parliament for approval before taking effect, according to the report.

    In order to disperse the international suspicion on the country's motivation of nuclear research while keeping the highly sensitive uranium enrichment program, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proposed to invite foreign parties into the program on Sept. 18 in a speech delivered at the United Nations General Assembly.

    Tehran believes that foreign participation can provide objective guarantees that its nuclear research will not be diverted to military purposes, but the European Union (EU), the long-time broker of the Iranian nuclear issue, insists that Iranmust completely halt all activities related to uranium enrichment.

    Tehran has repeatedly asserted that uranium enrichment, a key stage for building nuclear fuel cycle, is a legitimate and undeniable right enshrined by the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

    Iran suspended enrichment-related activities in November 2004 to build confidence in talks with the EU but resumed uranium conversion work, the preparatory step for enrichment, in early August this year.

    In response, the International Atomic Energy Agency in late September adopted a EU-drafted resolution, urging Iran to re-suspend all enrichment-related activities or face a referral ofits nuclear case to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.

    Tehran rejected the resolution, saying it will never return to the full suspension and was prepared to resume uranium enrichment activities under guarantee measures in the future. The United States accuses Iran of developing nuclear weapons, acharge rejected by Iran as politically motivated. Enditem

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