Thursday, February 25, 2010
Japan offers to enrich uranium for Iran
Japan has offered to enrich uranium for Iran allowing access to nuclear power by the Islamic Republic, the Nikkei business daily reports.
The Japanese proposal is aimed to allay international fears that Iran might be seeking an atomic weapon, according to Wednesday's edition of the report.
The uranium would be used at Tehran's research reactor to produce medical isotopes, the report added.
According to the publication, the Iranian government has not yet responded to the proposal, but the issue was expected to be discussed Wednesday when the visiting Iranian Parliament (Majlis) Speaker Ali Larijani and Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada meet in Tokyo.
"Japan strongly hopes Iran's nuclear issue will be resolved peacefully and diplomatically ... and that Iran considers a related UN Security Council resolution seriously", a foreign ministry spokesman quoted Katsuya as saying in the meeting.
Iran says that it is a signatory of the NPT and, unlike Israel, neither believes in atomic weapons nor, as a matter of religious principle, does it intend to access such weapons of mass-destruction. Furthermore, Tehran has repeatedly called for the elimination of all nuclear weapon development, production and arsenals throughout the globe.
Iran's nuclear facilities and enriched uranium remain under the supervision of IAEA inspectors, as outlined in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Safeguards Agreement.
The UN nuclear watchdog has carried out the highest number of inspections in Iran, compared to any other country throughout its history and has found nothing to indicate any diversion toward weaponization.