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Iran Plans To Continue Nuclear Work --> Ali Larijani, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator and secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (file photo) (Fars) July 20, 2006 -- Iran's Supreme National Security Council announced today that Tehran plans to continue its controversial uranium-enrichment work in defiance of international calls for it to suspend sensitive parts of its nuclear program.

In a statement read on state television, the council said Tehran is "ready to find a diplomatic solution" to the standoff, but warned the UN Security Council against choosing a "path of confrontation."

The council also promised to formally respond on August 22 to an incentives package offered by world powers aimed at resolving the dispute.

Iran's case was referred back to the Security Council last week after Tehran failed to respond to the package.

UN Security Council members are currently engaged in informal talks on the text of a draft resolution about Iran's nuclear program.


Talking Technical

A control panel at the Bushehr nuclear power plant (Fars)

CASCADES AND CENTRIFUGES: Experts and pundits alike continue to debate the goals and status of Iran's nuclear program. It remains unclear whether the program is, as Tehran insists, a purely peaceful enegy project or, as the United States claims, part of an effort to acquire nuclear weapons.
On June 7, 2006, RFE/RL correspondent Charles Recknagel spoke with nuclear expert Shannon Kile of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in Sweden to help sort through some of the technical issues involved. "[Natanz] will be quite a large plant," Kile said. "There will be about 50,000 centrifuges and how much enriched uranium that can produce [is] hard to say because the efficiency of the centrifuges is not really known yet. But it would clearly be enough to be able to produce enough [highly-enriched uranium] for a nuclear weapon in fairly short order, if that's the route that they chose to go...." (more)


Tehran Says It Is Working On Advanced Nuclear Fusion

Would Light-Water Reactor Suit Tehran's Needs?

Satellite Images Raise Questions About Iran's Nuclear Program

Centrifuges And Political Spin?

How Close Is Iran To Getting Nuclear Bomb?

Iran: The Worst-Case Scenarios

THE COMPLETE STORY: RFE/RL's complete coverage of controversy surrounding Iran's nuclear program.


An annotated timeline of Iran's nuclear program.