Representatives of Iran and the European Union are going to meet in Paris, by the end of this week, to continue their discussions over the EU 3’s proposal on Iran’s uranium enrichment plans. Meanwhile, a large number of Iranian members of parliament are supporting a bill that, once it becomes law, would bind the government to continue Iran’s nuclear programme without interruption. The bill, which is signed by 238 out of 290 Majlis (Iran’s Parliament) representatives, is going to be ratified in two phases. The first round of discussion and voting is on Sunday, 31 October 2004. The bill is most likely to pass this round of discussion without much difficulty given the high number of signatures it bears. The date of the second and final round of voting is not yet fixed. It is predicted that it will not take place before the Paris meeting between Iran and European officials.
IAEA’s next meeting, in which Iran’s case is going to be reviewed, will be held on November 25th. Diplomats in Vienna believe that if by then the West’s concern over Iran’s nuclear activities is not removed, it will be highly likely that Iran would be referred to the UN’s Security Council.
In an interview with the Islamic Republic’s state television, Sayd-Ali-Akbar Salehi, Iran’s former representative at the IAEA said, the Iranian negotiators do not have the highest expertise in negotiating such a deal. The Europeans, he believes, are well aware of this fact and are taking advantage of it by making baseless proposals. They are trying to play psychological games with Iran. As well as creating publicity for themselves, he said. One of these meaningless proposals, he believes, is the European’s offer to provide Iran with light water production technology in return for stopping Arak’s heavy water project.
In his view, Iran having the heavy water technology does not need the light water and therefore should not give any concession for receiving it.
Last Thursday the head of Arak’s heavy water power station said, the process of heavy water production will be completed within the next month. Fars news agency, quoting Manoochehr Madadi, the head of Arak’s heavy water research group, said the two main units of these installations are already completed and another main unit will be ready by next month.
Another development in Iran’s nuclear activities, announced during the past week, concerns Isfahan’s Centre for Uranium Technology. Out of 24 workshops in this centre 21 were opened last week.
Iran’s nuclear activities have so far been under the IAEA’s supervision, according to Islamic Republics officials. But the first outcome of referring Iran to the Security Council, said Ala-e-din Brojerdi, the head of Majlis committee for security and foreign policy, would be a change in this arrangement.