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Russia Can Play 'Effective Role' In Iran Nuclear Standoff


http://gdb.rferl.org/77DD57B7-ADBB-45E9-B822-B82C4BB29A1E_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/77DD57B7-ADBB-45E9-B822-B82C4BB29A1E_mw800_mh600.jpg Ali Larijani (left) greeting Igor Ivanov in Tehran on October 3 (Fars) October 4, 2006 -- Russian Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov has said dialogue, not sanctions, is the solution to the standoff over Iran's nuclear program.


Ivanov spoke on October 3 in Tehran after talks with Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, who said Russia could play an "effective role" in ending the standoff.


Meanwhile, an Iranian nuclear official has proposed that France enrich uranium for Iran on Iranian soil.


The suggestion by Mohammad Saidi -- deputy chief of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization -- was met with caution by EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, who said it should be analyzed further.


Solana also said he spoke by telephone on October 2 with Larijani, warning that time for more talks on Tehran's nuclear program was limited.


That message was echoed by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.


(compiled from agency reports)

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)


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


CHRONOLOGY

An annotated timeline of Iran's nuclear program.

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