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Ahmadinejad Says Iran May End Enrichment

New York: Iran would consider ending uranium enrichment, the most crucial part of its controversial nuclear activities, if world powers send Tehran nuclear fuel for a medical research reactor, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said.  Addressing a
PTI September 25, 2010 14:36 IST
PTI
New York: Iran would consider ending uranium enrichment, the most crucial part of its controversial nuclear activities, if world powers send Tehran nuclear fuel for a medical research reactor, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said.  

Addressing a packed press conference in a New York hotel yesterday, Ahmadinejad also said Iran was prepared to set a date for resumption of talks with six world powers to discuss Tehran's nuclear programme, saying October would be the likely time for the two sides to meet.  

Ahmadinejad also defended his remarks at the UN in which he claimed most people in the world believe the United States was behind the September 11, 2001 terror attacks and again challenged the United Nations to set up a commission to probe the attacks.

"I did not pass judgment, but don't you feel that the time has come to have a fact finding committee?" Ahmadinejad asked.  

Ahmadinejad said Iran had no interest in enriching uranium from around 3.5 per cent to 20 per cent purity but was forced to do so after the world powers refused to provide nuclear fuel that is needed for a Tehran reactor that produces medical isotopes for patients.  

That level is far below the more than 90 percent purity needed to build a nuclear weapon, but US officials have expressed concern Iran may be moving closer to an ability to reach weapons-grade level.  

Tehran began higher enrichment in February after talks stalled over a UN-brokered proposal that the United States hoped would -- at least temporarily -- leave Iran unable to produce a warhead. The US and its allies accuse Iran of seeking to build a nuclear weapon, a claim Iran denies.  

"We were not interested to carry out 20 per cent enrichment. They (the US and its allies) politicised the issue. We were forced to do it to support the (medical) patients," Ahmadinejad said in response to a question from The Associated Press. "We will consider halting uranium enrichment whenever nuclear fuel is provided to us."  

Ahmadinejad said pressure was counterproductive, but respectful talks will bear fruit.  

"The era of following a policy of carrot and stick is over. Even such words are insulting to nations. It's only good for cowboys and those of retarded people. Definitely it has no effect," he said. "They issued resolutions as talks were underway. Still, we are ready for talks."  

The Iranian leader said an Iranian representative will probably meet with members of the five permanent members of the Security Council -- the US, Britain, France, Russia and China as well as Germany in October. AP