Accessibility links

Breaking News

Iran: West Cannot be Trusted With Nuclear Fuel

A top adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says Tehran will never trust the West with its nuclear fuel.

Ali Akbar Velayati told the state-run IRNA news agency that efforts to require Iran to send its nuclear fuel to the West to be enriched is proof of their evil intentions.

Earlier this week, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki expressed hope a fuel-swap deal backed by the United Nations could "create multilateral trust."

The proposal by the International Atomic Energy Agency calls for Iran to send its uranium to Russia for enrichment. It would then be sent to France, converted into fuel rods and sent back to Iran to power a nuclear reactor. The proposal is aimed at curbing Iran's ability to enrich its own uranium to weapons-grade level.

Tehran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but the United States accuses Iran of pursuing nuclear technology to develop weapons. The U.S. also has been leading a diplomatic push to secure a fourth round of international sanctions against Tehran.

During Friday prayers in Tehran, Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani also spoke about the talks concerning Iran's nuclear program, accusing Tehran's enemies of playing tricks.

Meanwhile, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said Friday that the effort to impose sanctions on Iran appears to be gaining support in China.

China has been reluctant to back sanctions against Iran, but Ashton said her talks with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao focused on how to best target them.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is scheduled to attend the upcoming U.N. Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference in New York. A U.N. spokesman says that Iranian officials have requested a meeting between Mr. Ahmadinejad and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Monday.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that the Iranian leader's visit would not disrupt the work of the conference.