(JNS.org) Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Akbar Salehi said that his country will continue to enrich uranium to 20 percent despite recent warm overtures made by Iranian officials at recent negotiations.
“The 20 percent uranium and fuel plates are being produced and built within the country,” Salehi said in an interview, Iranian state-run Fars News Agency reported.
“No stop has occurred in the process of the production and it never stopped before,” Salehi added.
Iran currently enriches uranium to 20 percent at its nuclear facility at Fordo, near the city of Qom. Ending Iran’s uranium enrichment has been one of the key demands of the West since negotiations with Iran began recently.
There were reports following the Oct. 15-17 meetings between Iran and world powers, that Iran would end its enrichment in exchange for a lifting of crippling economic sanctions. However, Salehi denied those rumors.
"The closure of Fordo site is a sheer lie," Salehi said according to Fars News Agency.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called to force Iran to halt all enrichment, saying that even low levels of enrichment could lead to a nuclear weapon. Iranian and global leaders will meet again in Geneva in early November.