German's Schroeder backs int'l nuclear consortium in Iran
Visiting former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder backed the establishment of an international nuclear consortium in Iran, local satellite Press TV reported on Sunday.
Schroeder "has welcomed the prospects of an internationally-run nuclear enrichment plant in Iran," Press TV said.
"Iran's offer to form a nuclear consortium is acceptable and should be followed up," Schroeder said in a meeting on Saturday with Iranian Majlis (parliament) Speaker Ali Larijani in Tehran, Xinhua reported.
Larijani, for his part, said that Iran, who has signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), is "entitled to enrich uranium inside the country", and "it is impossible to deprive Iran of nuclear technology."
Schroeder arrived in Tehran on Thursday for a four-day visit during which he was scheduled to meet with Larijani, Head of the Experts Assembly Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki.
Iran's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Asghar Soltanieh told Press TV after IAEA released its latest report on Iran's nuclear work on Thursday that "Iran will continue to cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog but will not suspend its nuclear work."
In a report on the Iranian nuclear issue to IAEA on Thursday, IAEA chief Mohamed El Baradei said only 164 gas centrifuges that were able to produce low-enriched uranium had been newly installed at Iran's Natanz uranium enrichment center since last December, slower than the past.
Although the UN Security Council has implemented sanctions on Iran, the country still refused to fulfill UN's requirement of stopping its uranium enrichment activity, said the report.