Topic: Iran's nuclear program
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- Iran to Sign New Nuclear Power Plant Deal with Russia – Minister
- Iran’s New President Says Country Committed to Nuclear Talks
- Six Nations Committed to Extensive Talks with Iran – Russia
MOSCOW, August 24 (RIA Novosti) - The US allegation about an attempt by a man from Sierra Leone to sell uranium to Iran is designed to thwart Tehran’s upcoming talks with a group of international mediators, Press TV reported on Saturday, citing a senior Iranian lawmaker.
On Friday, Western media reported that US prosecutors have charged Patrick Campbell, 33, of Freetown with attempting to sell to undercover agents 1,000 tons of yellowcake uranium he believed would be shipped to Iran. He was arrested Wednesday at John F. Kennedy International Airport with a sample of the toxic substance concealed in his baggage.
Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of Iran's Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, described the “US scenario” as a “joke,” the agency reported.
The Islamic Republic does not need to buy yellow cake from the citizens of other countries, he was quoted by Press TV as saying.
“Iran is among the producers of yellow cake; therefore, the claim is designed to affect Iran’s talks with the P5+1 group (permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) under the new administration.”
The latest round of negotiations between Iran and the group of international negotiators on its controversial nuclear program was held on April 6 in Almaty while the date for the next round has not been set yet.
However, in a telephone conversation on August 18, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who represents the group of international mediators, and Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif expressed readiness for the resumption of negotiations, the agency said.
The UN Security Council adopted six resolutions as part of international efforts to address Iran’s nuclear program between 2006 and 2010.
Western countries suspect Iran of using its nuclear program to develop atomic weapons capability, a claim Iran has consistently denied. Tehran claims it needs atomic technology for producing electricity, although it has some of the world's largest reserves of oil and gas.
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Iran has been a central Russian ally in the Middle East, despite considerable tensions between the two. But by renewing dialogue with the West, the new Iranian leadership has chosen another direction. The shifting terrain in the region creates new strategic, political and economic challenges for Russia.