Iran’s enrichment of uranium to 20 percent “is our right” and “is not a step towards a bomb,” President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday in an interview with the satellite television network France 24.
The enrichment activity, which world powers are trying to curb in fraught talks with Iran, “is one of our rights in terms of international law,” Ahmadinejad said.
“There have been lies about our programme… Enriching uranium to 20 percent is not a step towards a bomb,” he said, speaking Farsi through translators.
Ahmadinejad added that the heads of the UN nuclear watchdog should make world powers “provide us with uranium at a 20 percent enrichment level, but so far they have not done so.”
As a result, he said, Iran “decided to move forward on our own” with enrichment.
His remark in Farsi on Iran being supplied with 20 percent enriched uranium was rendered differently when translated into English for the channel.
Ahmadinejad hinted, however, that Iran could be open to stopping 20 percent enrichment — if world powers offered significant concessions.
“If others do not wish for us to fully benefit from this right, they need to explain to us why. And also they have to say what they are willing to give to the Iranian people in exchange.”