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Foreign Minister: Iran May Sell Nuclear Fuel To Others

Tehran, 14 February 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said today that Iran has the capacity to produce nuclear fuel and is ready to sell it to international buyers.

Kharrazi's statement, carried by the official IRNA news agency, appears to contradict Iran's agreement last year to suspend its uranium enrichment activities, which could produce the kind of fuel needed for nuclear weapons.

Yesterday, the U.S. State Department said Iran is continuing to hide information on its nuclear programs. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher called on Iran to live up to its obligations to the UN nuclear agency.

"The major emphasis is on encouraging Iran to live up to its obligations so that when the secretary-general of the agency [IAEA] reports to the board in March, we can see whether or not Iran has lived up to its obligations and commitments."

Kharrazi's statement came after the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency discovered Iranian plans for a centrifuge for uranium enrichment, not declared by Iran in its earlier accounts of its nuclear programs.

Kharazzi said Iran has no plan to produce nuclear weapons and is solely interested in civilian nuclear power.