Azerbaijan, Baku, March 19 / Trend , T.Konyaeva/
Iran's statement that it is ready to exchange on its territory 1,200 kilograms of 3.5-percent enriched uranium to 20-percent fuel is an another ploy and an attempt to gain time, experts say.
"Iran is stalling for time by playing on the contradictions of the world community, its confidence and desire to find at least some way, except force, President of Russia's Middle East Institute
Yevgeny Satanovsky told Trend via e-mail. - And Iran makes this with great success".
The Head of the
Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, said in an exclusive interview with Javan newspaper that his country was ready to transfer to the West 1,200 kilograms of 3.5 percent enriched uranium in exchange of 120 kilograms of 20 percent enriched fuel for research reactor in Tehran. Prior to that, Iran has stated that it was ready to exchange only 400 kilograms of uranium.
Any proposal of Iran, which suggests that it is ready to meet the global community, is perceived by the community with enthusiasm and give Iran an opportunity to reach the next level of development of the nuclear program, Satanovsky said.
"Iran is just playing a tactical game and assumes no responsibility for such statements, which are of importance only for the newspaper ["Javan"]," the expert on nuclear issues Reza Taghizadeh said.
According to Professor of the University of Glasgow Taghizadeh, Salehi would never talk about such an important step to any newspaper. "If Iran really made such a decision, it would have declared it to the
IAEA, the UN Security Council and other international organizations," he said.
In addition, Tagizadeh believes that Iran will not easily give up the result of its many years of nuclear activities. "It is inconceivable that having the tool of such pressure, Iran intends to voluntarily give it away, he said. Iran has spent billions of dollars to produce 2,150 kilograms of 3.5-percent enriched uranium, has suffered damage in billions of dollars because of the sanctions by the UN Security Council , moreover, that Iran could buy fuel for a nuclear reactor in Tehran for five or six million dollars"
In 2006, Iran's nuclear dossier was sent by the IAEA to the UN Security Council. Up to now, to suspend Iran's nuclear program, the Security Councils has adopted five resolutions, three of which impose economic sanctions against Iran.
Taghizadeh added that the exchange of 1,200 kilograms of 3.5 percent enriched uranium with 120 kilograms of 20 percent enriched fuel will inflict damage to Iran.
In October last year, the IAEA made an initiative to exchange Iran's low-enriched uranium (up 3.5 percent) to 20 percent fuel for research reactor in Tehran, which produces medical isotopes.
Later, the IAEA, with the participation of
Russia, France and the United States, devised and presented a specific project of agreements for exchange, according to which Iran was to convey to Russia 1.2 tons (70 percent of the total) of low-enriched uranium accumulated at the plant in the Iranian city of Natanz. Russia had to enrich the uranium to 20 percent with onward delivery to France, and transfer to Tehran. However, Iran demanded that the exchange was carried out simultaneously on its territory.
"Little has changed in Iran's position, it was ready to cooperate only under certain conditions," the director of Center for the Study of Modern Iran
Rajab Safarov told Vedomosti newspaper.
He also added that the volume, which is ready to be parted with Iran, is 70 percent less than required by the IAEA because if last autumn the uranium reserves were estimated at about 1,200 kg, but now, according to the IAEA, the figure exceeds 2,000 kilograms.
In early February, Iranian President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad expressed his readiness to accept the plan of the IAEA and to send abroad the low-enriched uranium in exchange for fuel enriched at 20 percent. However, a few hours later, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said the Islamic Republic is not yet ready to conclude a deal with the IAEA, because a "formula" of exchange must be prepared to start the exchange.