July 26, 2005

Iran may resume nuclear work if EU proposal delayed

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran said on Tuesday the European Union
had until August 1 to present a proposal that would enable the
country to produce nuclear fuel or Tehran will go its own way,
a senior Iranian official said on Tuesday.

Ali Aghamohammadi, spokesman for Iran's Supreme National
Security Council, told state television there could be no
backtracking on the right to atomic fuel.

An EU troika of Britain, Germany and France has been in
talks with Tehran to try to defuse a crisis over Iran's nuclear
program. The EU group has asked Iran to stop making nuclear
fuel in return for economic incentives.

The EU trio has until early August to present Iran with a
set of final proposals aimed at ending the dispute.

"We have told Europeans that there should not be any delay
in submitting their proposals," Aghamohammadi said. "After
August 1 we will make our decision."

The EU trio have warned Iran they will join Washington in
seeking U.N. Security Council action if Tehran makes good on
its threats to resume nuclear activities.

Iran strongly denies U.S. accusations it is trying to build
atomic weapons and says its nuclear facilities will only be
used as part of a civilian energy program.

Aghamohammadi reiterated that Iran had every right to
master the fuel cycle and that there is no way Tehran will give
this up as a diplomatic gesture.

"Some minimum requirements should be considered in the
proposal," he said. "Otherwise we will not accept it."

"Lifting parts of the suspension is part of the minimum
requirements," he said.

Iran froze all uranium fuel work last November as part of
an agreement with the EU's big three powers.

The Islamic state has repeatedly said that it would resume
uranium enrichment-related activities if talks fail with the
European Union over the long-term future of its disputed
nuclear program.

Low-enriched uranium is used as nuclear reactor fuel while
highly enriched uranium can be used in the core of an atom

"We want to preserve our country's national achievement,
that is the fuel cycle (enrichment)," Aghamohammadi said.

However, Aghamohammadi said that the establishment has
still not fixed a date for resuming its nuclear program.

"We will wait until August 1 and then our top officials
will decide about it," Aghamohammadi said.