Jul 9, 2014, 8:19 AM
News Code: 81230727
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Salehi: Iran's 3 proposals on Fordo trust building, flexibility

Tehran, July 9, IRNA – Iran has proposed three ways for altering the activities of Fordo site, which is the backbone of the Iranian nuclear activities, as a show of both our trust-building mood, and our high flexibility, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization said here Tuesday.

Ali Akbar Salehi referred to the Supreme Leader's Tuesday remarks on the nuclear issue in a TV interview, arguing that his eminence drew the main framework for the Iranian nuclear negotiators' work in Vienna clearly, 'which is a matter of great significance for our country's negotiators.'

Referring to the usage of the word SWU in the Supreme Leader's remarks on the nuclear issue, he said that that is an abbreviation for measuring the power of the centrifuges, standing for the words Separative Work Unit.

'Focusing on the number of the centrifuges by them caused ambiguities, because the capacity and the power of the centrifuges keep increasing day after day,' he said.

** Focusing on number of centrifuges aimed at misleading public opinion

The vice president said that the western powers resorting to the number of centrifuges is merely a method aimed at misleading the world public opinion.

'They talk about the number of centrifuges to achieve their objectives, while the extent of the required fuel depends on the SWU capacity that differs with that,' he said.

Salehi said that in the eight year perspective of Iran we need 190 thousand SWUs of nuclear fuel. He also explained that an SWU is the unit for separation of light uranium from the heavy uranium.

'Keeping in mind that eight years from now the period of our contract with Russia for provision of the nuclear fuel that we need will come to its end, we will be in need of 190,000 SWUs of nuclear fuel just to keep running the Bushehr Nuclear Reactor, the Tehran Research Reactor, and the Arak Nuclear Reactor,' he added.

Salehi said that in accordance with the Geneva Joint Plan of Action the extent of our enrichment must be decided based on our country's practical need, therefore we leave the issue up to the world public opinion to clarify our country's practical need to nuclear fuel based on the explanation I just gave, because after the end of our contract with Russia we will still need to provide fuel for the Bushehr Reactor.

'Keeping in mind the 190,000 SWUs need of Iran to nuclear fuel, if the westerners have a pretext in this regard they should also have a logical argument behind it, not just to say that we need to produce merely 1000 SWUs, because such an extent is irrelevant with the real needs of our country,' said the head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO).

He explained that provision of that much nuclear fuel differs based on with generation of the 1st to 3rd type of centrifuges we use, because the 3G machines that produce 24 SWUs, with less than 10,000 centrifuges we will be able to provide our needs, but using the 1G machines we will be in need of 60,000 centrifuges.

Salehi also explained that presently the functioning centrifuges in Iran are the 1G type, whose initial design was for production of 3 SWUs of nuclear fuel, but in practice they only produce less than 2 SWUs.

The vice president and former foreign minister said that the new generation of IR2 centrifuges, which have been functioning in Iran for a long time have a 6 SWU production capacity, but we also have a 164 chain of new centrifuges with 10 SWU production capacity, whose deficiencies are being eliminated and will be mass produced after that.

He said that the IAEO is waiting for the Iranian Nuclear Immunity System's license for production of that new generation of centrifuges.

'Production of 24 SWU centrifuges, too, is under the test phase, and after elimination of their deficiencies that will be mass produced,' added Salehi.

'18,000 centrifuges have been produced and put to use out of which 9,000 have been injected with gas and are functioning, but the other 9,000 that are of the IR2 type have not got the gas injection yet,' he explained.

He said that in the country's eight year perspective we need to improve the machines' generation gradually so that using less centrifuges we will be able to provide the required amount of the fuel for our country's reactors.

He said that Iran's proposal in the nuclear negotiations is step by step provision of the required fuel. They say we have claimed that we need 190,000 machines, while we have said that we need 190,000 SWUs of fuel, not that many centrifuges.

The IAEO chief said that in order to ease their worries, we have drawn and eight year perspective as step for each year, when the installed centrifuges will be injected with gas and put to use, so that after the manufacturing of the high capacity (24 SWU) machines we will be able to produce the 190,000 SWU nuclear fuel that Iran needs when our contract with Russia will come to an end.

He reiterated that all such activities will still continue under the supervision of the UN nuclear watchdog, IAEA.

Salehi also spoke of Iran's proposal to the West as a trust building measure, arguing, 'Just as we decreased the annual plutonium production of the Arak heavy Water Reactor from ten kilograms to one kg, by the step-by-step proposal of the Islamic Republic we have taken another trust building measure.

• Iran's three proposals on Fordo

'Fordo site is a research center and a complementary facility for the Natanz site. Due to the existence of threats against our country's nuclear facilities, which are quite clear for the world, the Iranian nation acted wisely in case of Fordo site, and this site is in fact immune from air strikes and it backs up almost the entire nuclear technology of the country,' said the IAEA chief.

He said that more than 2,000 centrifuges are put up in Fordo, which enrich uranium at 5% level. 'Of course previously they were producing 20% enriched uranium, which after the Geneva agreement and in order to build trust it was decreased to 5%.'

Referring to Iran's three proposals on changing the usability of the Fordo site, Salehi said, 'One of those proposals is changing the Fordo site into a research and development and back up site for Natanz site.'

'The other proposal was made by Russia, and that was production of sustainable isotopes on that site, which is also in need of centrifuges,' he said.

The IAEA chief reiterated that for instance procurement of 1,000 sustainable isotopes from the free market will be very costly and impossible, and therefore, producing them inside the country is a dire need.

He said that Iran's other proposal is turning the Fordo site into a physics and space radiation laboratory.

'That laboratory can offer services to different countries around the globe, and we offered these proposals to the other side,' said Salehi.

• Cooperation with the IAEA and flexibility beyond its letter of association

Salehi then referred to Iran's full-scale cooperation with the IAEA.

'Although during the past eight months we have answered to 15 of the IAEA questions which is both beyond the laws and the letter of association of the agency, but after reaching an agreement with the IAEA and a visit of their dispatched delegation of Iran and their confirming that the presented information to them was complete, the IAEA Director General Yokiya Amano opined that Iran's cooperation in presenting information to them was weak!

He said that the Islamic Republic protested to Amano's approach, arguing that based on the Iran-IAEA agreement Iran had fully cooperated with the agency and that such a remark by Mr. Amano had been quite astonishing.

The head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization said that Iran's cooperation with the agency was not only good, but also promising, adding, 'If the IAEA would destroy the wall of mistrust and judge free from bias and justly, then the two sides will achieve their objectives, just as we have thus far answered the agency's 15 questions satisfactorily, beyond the barriers of the IAEA letter of association.'

He emphasized that Iran is not obliged to answer the agency's entire demands positively, as their demands must be within the barrier of the laws and in the framework of the IAEA letter of association.

Salehi set example that speaking about a missile warhead is none of IAEA's concerns, and the other side should know that if the Islamic Republic observes lenience, it is within a certain framework and not beyond.

• Nuclear weapons capability a pretext for evermore demands

The IAEO chief said that by focusing on such issues as potential capability of producing nuclear weapons in a six month to one year period the western powers seek a pretext that neither then can prove nor anyone can prove its falsehood.

'That is merely a pretext against the peaceful nuclear activities of our country,' he said, arguing that in case of the Arak Reactor redesigning it to produce 1 kilogram of uranium instead of ten Kg. annually was a practical measure that had a broad international reflection.