Iran’s Majlis has denied sections of an Associated Press (AP) interview attributing comments to Speaker Ali Larijani about a surplus of enriched uranium.
The AP interview quoted Larijani as saying that Iran has a surplus of enriched uranium and that it intends to use it as a bargaining chip in the nuclear talks in Geneva next week.
The AP said Iran’s Majlis Speaker stated that the Islamic Republic has produced 20-percent enriched uranium “solely for energy, research and isotopes for medical treatments, not for nuclear weapons.”
It further quoted Larijani as saying that Iran produced the enriched uranium because the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would not supply it to the country, which is a long-time IAEA member.
The American news agency then quoted the top Iranian legislator as saying, “But we have some surplus, you know, the amount that we don’t need. Over that we can have some discussions.”
The Public Relations Office of the Iranian legislature dismissed this last section of the interview as “basically false” in a Wednesday night statement.
In a separate interview with the CNN, Speaker Larijani underlined that the West must accept Iran’s right to enrichment for civilian purposes in line with the regulations of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), to which Iran is a signatory.
“If they (the US and West) want to bargain with us or if they have ulterior motives or maybe they want to somehow convince Iran to abandon its nuclear program, then it is going to take a long time. So, all depends on their will” the Majlis speaker further stated.
“The important thing is that Iran insists on having access to peaceful nuclear technology and Iran is not going to change its mind. They claim that Iran may have the intention to move toward developing a nuclear weapon, but we can assure them that we are not moving toward that direction,” he added.
Iran and six major world powers - the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany - have agreed to hold a new round of nuclear talks on October 15-16 in Geneva.