Russia sees chance to lift Iran sanctions

The Bushehr nuclear facility in Iran.

The Bushehr nuclear facility in Iran.

Chances have emerged to lift sanctions on Iran as a result of international talks on Tehran’s nuclear program, Russia said on Thursday.

“Despite difficult course of the negotiating process, a possibility emerges to satisfy in full all integral rights of Iran as member state of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, including the right to enrich uranium and lifting sanctions regime,” Reuters quoted Russian Foreign Ministry as saying in a statement.

This comes after a senior Iranian official said on Wednesday that Tehran has conducted “mechanical” tests on a new, advanced machine to refine uranium.

The disclosure may annoy Western states pushing Tehran to scale back its nuclear program.

Iran’s development of new centrifuges to replace its current breakdown-prone model is watched closely by Western officials.

It could allow the Islamic Republic to amass potential atomic
bomb material much faster.

Tehran says its nuclear program is peaceful and that it produces low-enriched uranium only to make fuel for a planned network of atomic energy plants. If processed to a high fissile concentration, uranium can be used for nuclear weapons.

“Manufacturing and production of new centrifuges is our right,” Iranian atomic energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi said.

On Aug. 24, Iran said it shot down an Israeli radar-evading spy drone trying to penetrate Natanz nuclear enrichment site.

While the West is trying to use diplomacy to get Iran to abandon its disputed nuclear program, Israel has rebuffed the approach, leading some analysts to suggest that Tel Aviv may have sent the drone in a bid to foil the international nuclear talks in Geneva.

 
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