Iran suspends uranium enrichment

MOSCOW NOV. 10. Russia will continue nuclear cooperation with Iran and the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, will visit Teheran to advance bilateral relations.

Moscow "sees no obstacles to cooperation with Iran in the nuclear field," Mr. Putin said while receiving the head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Hassan Rohani, in the Kremlin today. "Iran as a full-fledged member of the international community has full right to develop its peaceful nuclear programme."

Russia has come under strong pressure from the United States to stop the construction of two nuclear reactors at the Bushehr power plant in Iran.

For his part Iran's security supremo said that Teheran "has decided to suspend uranium enrichment," although it had a "legitimate right" to pursue such activities. He stressed that Iran "has no aim of acquiring nuclear weapons."

Mr. Putin was quoted by Itar-Tass as saying that Teheran had the right to engage in uranium enrichment. At the same time he said he had highlighted three "key issues" in Russia's dialogue with Iran: the opening of all Iranian nuclear programmes to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the signing of the Additional Protocol on IAEA inspections and the discontinuation of uranium enrichment.

Mr. Rohani also announced that Iran will give the IAEA a letter today itself confirming its intention to sign the Additional Protocol. He passed to the Russian President an invitation from Iran's President, Mohammed Khatami, to visit Teheran "for substantive talks." Mr. Putin said he would avail of the invitation "by all means."

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