Iran denies report of bomb-grade uranium find
Sources say traces found at sites not declared to IAEA
Updated: 3:27 a.m. ET April 04, 2004TEHRAN, Iran - Iran on Sunday denied a Reuters report quoting diplomats who said traces of bomb-grade uranium had been found at sites in Iran other than the two already declared to U.N. nuclear inspectors.
"Reuters is making false, baseless and unfounded propaganda," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told a news conference.
A Western diplomat told Reuters on Friday that enriched uranium had been found in sites other than the Natanz enrichment centre and a workshop of the Kalaye Electric Company, already known to the U.N. nuclear watchdog.
The United States accuses Tehran of pursuing nuclear weapons but Iran insists its ambitions are limited to generating electricity.
Sources based in Vienna, the home of the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), who follow its work on Iran, confirmed traces had been found at other sites, but the agency would not comment.
Last month, the IAEA passed a resolution deploring Iran's failure to declare potentially arms-related activities.
Iran's omissions of key atomic technology from an October resolution included undeclared research on advance "P2" centrifuges that can make bomb-grade uranium.
But Asefi on Sunday said there were no further undeclared nuclear sites.
"There is no nuclear center in Iran which we have hidden from inspectors," he said. http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4661407/
posted on 04/04/2004 8:27:52 AM PDT
(Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
Iran's first seminar on gas export to be held in April
The first two-day Seminar on Iran's Gas Export will be held in Tehran in April to present Iran's gas export potentials as well as find new markets for this energy source, it was announced on Sunday, IRNA reported.
With 26 trillion cubic meters of gas reserves, the Islamic Republic of Iran holds the second largest gas deposits in the world. However, its share in the trade in this vital source of energy is meager.
At the seminar, foreign and local specialists will discuss issues such as cooperation between gas producers and consumers, new gas markets across the world, potential outlets for Iran's gas export, various gas agreements and markets for liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The event, sponsored by Iran's Gas Export Company, to be held on April 25 and 26 will permit participants to share their experiences in gas export sector.
The giant South Pars gas field, the world's biggest gas field, is shared between Iran and Qatar. The two countries have drawn up plans to develop the field.
Iran has some extensive plans to export gas from South Pars gas field though most of its plans have not been operational. The Iranian government is also hoping to boost gas production from the giant gas field.
Turkey is the only country to which gas is exported via pipeline receiving some 3.5 billion cubic meters of gas from Iran per annum.
The oil ministers from India, Turkey and Algeria and senior officials of some major well-known oil companies namely Dutch-British company of Shell, Statoil of Norway, Total of France and British Gas will take part in the event. http://www.payvand.com/news/04/apr/1023.html
Iran insists it is not violating enrichment deal
Sunday, April 04, 2004 - ©2004 IranMania.com
TEHRAN, April 4 (AFP) -- Iran insisted Sunday that it was not hiding any of its nuclear facilities from UN inspectors, and that its resumption of work on a key part of the nuclear fuel cycle was not a violation of its commitment to suspend uranium enrichment activities.
"There is no nuclear site that the (International Atomic Energy) Agency is not aware of and that we have hidden from IAEA inspectors," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters ahead of a key visit by the UN watchdog's director, Mohammed ElBaradei.
"We have a transparent and constructive cooperation with the agency, and this will continue," the spokesman said, describing ElBaradei's visit on Tuesday as "important".
"We are committed to our engagements, and up to now have not violated any of them," he said.
Iran is under mounting international pressure over its nuclear programme, and angrily denies US charges that its civil atomic energy programme is a cover for ambitions to secretly develop nuclear weapons.
In March it was condemned by the IAEA for continuing to hide sensitive nuclear activities, including designs for sophisticated P2 centrifuges for making enriched uranium which could be weapon-grade.
In addition, Britain, France and Germany have condemned Iran's decision to resume work on a key part of the nuclear fuel cycle.
In a deal with the IAEA brokered last year by the European Union's big three, Tehran agreed to suspend uranium enrichment and related activities while UN inspectors delved into its programme.
But Asefi claimed the resumption of work at a uranium conversion facility near the central city of Isfahan, announced here last week, was not a violation of the deal.
"The resumption of activities at Isfahan does not violate any of our commitments. It is for the production of UF4 in an experimental fashion, which is nothing to do with our commitment to voluntarily suspend uranium enerichment," he told a weekly news conference.
UF4, or, uranium tetrafluoride, can serve as a base for the production of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) -- a compound then used in enrichment.
Asefi also confirmed indications from IAEA headquarters in Vienna that a new visit by inspectors would take place later this month, with the latest probe focussing on "the suspension of enrichment and the P2" centrifuge.
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