Iran: No Good Reason to Halt 20 Percent Enrichment

Foreign Ministry: Halt Would Be Traded for Acceptance of Civilian Program

Speaking today, Iranian nuclear chief Fereydoon Abbasi said that the government was not considering halting its enrichment of uranium to 20 percent, saying there was “no reason” and that they still need the uranium for the Tehran Research Reactor.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast elaborated on the comments later, saying that Iran would halt the enrichment but only if the international community recognized its right to a civilian program under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The comments were originally presented as backpedaling, but Iran’s hints at a concession at the Baghdad talks appeared to come to an end when the US announced that it would never accept Iran’s civilian program.

Meanwhile, Iranian officials also said that they have not agreed to the IAEA visit to the Parchin military facility, saying the watchdog hasn’t given any good reasons for needing access. Parchin is not a declared nuclear facility and therefore doesn’t automatically fall under IAEA jurisdiction. This too was a concession Iran had hinted at, but now that it is clear that the Baghdad talks weren’t going to achieve any of its goals, Iran don’t seem nearly as willing to make such concessions.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.