Iran can produce stable isotopes without Russia: AEOI spox

TEHRAN, Dec. 09 (MNA) – Iran has the capability to continue the projects concerning the production of stable isotopes at Fordow without Russia's help, according the spokesman of Iran nuclear agency.

“We can technically continue the work related to the production of stable isotopes without the Russians; however, politically-speaking, it would be better if Russians stay with us [on the project],” Spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi said on Monday.

“We are sure that the Russians will not abandon their projects in Iran in the wake of the US’ [new] sanctions, because they are currently involved in the construction of Bushehr-2 and -3 power plants,” he added.

The spokesman noted that talks are underway with Moscow to explore the avenues for continuing the cooperation.

“Today, nothing is beyond the Iranian nuclear industry’s capabilities,” he asserted.

On December 5, Russia’s TVEL fuel company (incorporated into the Rosatom state nuclear corporation) informed Tehran that it had suspended work on a project to revamp two chains of gas centrifuges at Iran’s Fordow facility for the production of stable isotopes for medical purposes following Tehran’s step to start gas injection at the facility as part of its measures to reduce commitments to the nuclear deal. 

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Friday, “We are taking a break now. We don’t abandon the project. It will be fully implemented."

He noted that Moscow will need time to react to the new circumstances, i.e. Iran’s injecting gas to the centrifuges at Fordow and the United States’ imposing new sanctions against this facility from December 15.

"The subject of the Fordow project was raised [at the meeting on the Iran nuclear deal] by Iran’s and China’s representatives. We made two big presentations on this matter with the participation of Rosatom representatives. We stressed that gas injection to the [centrifuges’] cascades, which are located in the same premises where the works on reconfiguration for the production of stable isotopes are to be conducted, has somewhat hampered the original plan of reconfiguration. We will need time to assess the consequences and, probably, elaborate some technological solutions and it will inevitably mean some delays," he noted.


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