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Iran Urged to Clarify Position of Home Enrichment to Russia
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A senior hardline Iranian lawmaker on Sunday urged the government to clarify to Russia Iran's position that its uranium enrichment must be conducted in its own territory, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

"The Russians should be convinced that the implementation of the enrichment project on the Iranian soil is something which Tehran insists on," Alaeddin Borujerdi, chairman of the Majlis (parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, was quoted as saying.

Borujerdi's comments were made in reaction to Russia's suggestion over Iran's uranium enrichment in Russia, which was firstly revealed in November but rejected by Tehran.

The Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Saturday that it had handed over a formal document to that effect to Tehran.

Borujerdi said Russia's intention to participate in Iran's nuclear activities was "positive," stressing that "Iran welcomes other countries' participation in its nuclear activities and considers foreign participation in line with Iran's policy of transparency over its nuclear program."

However, Borujerdi said Iran had "not received any formal proposal from Moscow on uranium enrichment," echoing what Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said earlier in the day.

"When the Russians are involved in Iran's nuclear activities, it is meaningless to carry out uranium enrichment outside Iran," Borujerdi added.

Denying receiving any substantial proposal from Russia, Asefi said Iran will consider proposals which recognize and secure the country's legal rights for peaceful nuclear technology. He said the permission of uranium enrichment activities on the Iranian soil was a substantial standard for such positive proposals.

Iran is currently under pressure of the European Union, the longtime broker of the Iranian nuclear issue, to accept the Russian proposal. The United States accuses Iran of developing nuclear weapons secretly, a charge rejected by Tehran as politically motivated.

(Xinhua News Agency December 26, 2005)

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