Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani in December (epa)
25 January 2006 -- Iran's top nuclear negotiator today positively assessed Russia's proposal to enrich Iranian uranium on Russian soil.
Addressing reporters in Moscow, Ali Larijani said he discussed the proposal on 24 January during a meeting with Russian Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov. Iran has previously rejected the proposal.
Russia's Interfax news agency quotes Larijani as saying that Russia's idea is "good" but needs further examination.
The Russian proposal aims to allay western concerns that Tehran may be seeking to produce nuclear weapons. The United States and the European Union have threatened to have the International Atomic Energy Agency's Board of Governors send Iran to the United Nations Security Council for possible punitive sanctions.
Larijani today said that should his country be referred to the Security Council it would start enriching uranium "on an industrial scale" and stop complying with the additional protocol to the Nonproliferation Treaty.
(Interfax, IRNA, AP)
INSIDE THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC: Iran is a theocratic Islamic republic governed under a 1979 constitution that was revised in 1989, when presidential powers were expanded and the prime minister's post was abolished.
Appointed -- not elected -- offices and bodies hold the real power in the government. The supreme leader, who serves as a chief of state would, is appointed for life by an Islamic religious advisory board that is called the Assembly of Experts. The supreme leader oversees the military as well as the judiciary and appoints members of the Guardians Council and the Expediency Council.
The Guardians Council -- some of whose members are appointed by the judiciary and approved by the parliament -- works closely with the government and must approve political candidates and legislation passed by the parliament. The Expediency Council is responsible for resolving legislative disputes that may arise between parliament and the Guardians Council over legislation.
The president, who is popularly elected for a four-year term, serves as the head of government. The legislative branch is made up of a 290-seat body called the Majlis, whose members are elected by popular vote for four-year terms...(more)
RFE/RL's coverage of Iran