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Iran insists on full nuclear rights within NPT: nuclear negotiator


TEHRAN, (Xinhua): Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said Saturday that the Islamic republic insists on its full nuclear rights within the framework of Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Making the remarks at an annual conference of the Iranian Managers of Nuclear Industry, Jalili said Iranians do not accept " less rights or more tasks," the state IRIB TV reported.

Iran is committed to its tasks within the directives of the NPT and insists on all its rights within the framework of the NPT regulations, he emphasized.

Jalili said that the Islamic republic hopes the so-called P5+1 group, comprising Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany, come to the upcoming nuclear talks with "new strategy and valid proposals," according to IRIB.

On Saturday, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) announced that the Islamic republic plans to construct 16 nuclear power plants in different parts of the country, Press TV reported.

"After months of efforts, 16 new sites for nuclear power plants have been designated in coastal areas of the Caspian Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman, (southwestern province of) Khuzestan and northwestern part of the country," the AEOI was quoted as saying.

The projects are in line with Iran's long-term plans to develop electricity generation through nuclear power plants and in accordance with international regulations, according to the announcement.

It also said that Iran has discovered more uranium deposits which increase Iran's uranium reserves to 4,400 tons, according to official IRNA news agency.

Earlier this month, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi said in Moscow that Iran hoped Russia could participate in constructing the second unit of Iran's Bushehr nuclear plant.

Russia's state atomic agency Rosatom said last May it was ready to help Iran build another unit at the Bushehr plant after the plant "successfully" reached 100 percent of its nominal capacity last August.

AEOI's Saturday announcement and Jalili's remarks came ahead of Iran's upcoming nuclear talks with the P5+1 slated for Feb. 26 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. It would be the first-of-its-kind meeting between Iran and the P5+1 since the stalemate in Moscow in June 2012.

In a reaction to the recent report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Iran's nuclear program, Iranian ambassador to the IAEA Ali-Asghar Soltanieh said that the report of UN nuclear watchdog on Iran's nuclear program confirms the peaceful nature of the country's nuclear activities, Tehran Times daily reported Saturday.

The IAEA report confirms that Iran had started the installation of IR-2m centrifuges, a new model of Iran's centrifuges which could significantly boost Iran's uranium capacity at Natanz fuel enrichment plant.

However, Iran stressed that the advanced centrifuges would be used to produce 5-percent enriched uranium, after informing the IAEA about the installation.

"The main message of the (IAEA) report after 10 years of inspection of Iran's facilities, materials, and nuclear activities is that there is no diversion toward military purposes in these activities and facilities," Soltanieh was quoted as saying on Friday.

"The agency also says in the report that (uranium) enrichment goes on in Iran without any problem and under the full supervision of the agency," said the Iranian envoy.

"According to the agency's report, enrichment to a purity level of 20 percent with the aim of fueling the Tehran reactor is going smoothly, and it indicates the peaceful use of enrichment to supply the Tehran research reactor with fuel to provide hospitals with radioisotopes they need," he added.

The U.S. government on Thursday denounced as "yet another provocative step" Iran's latest installation of new centrifuges at its main uranium enrichment plant, calling on the Islamic republic to engage in "serious and substantive" talks with the world powers over its disputed nuclear program.

In response, Soltanieh said that his country would continue talks with the UN nuclear watchdog to resolve the outstanding issues regarding the Iranian nuclear program, semi-official ISNA news agency reported Friday.

Soltanieh called for a "calm atmosphere" for Iran and the IAEA to succeed in addressing the concerns about the Iranian nuclear issue.

Iran and the West are locked in a bitter dispute over its nuclear activities, with the latter accusing Tehran of developing nuclear weapon under a civilian cover, a charge Iran has consistently denied

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