Candidate running against Ahmadinejad calls for nuke fuel consortium based in Iran
NICOSIA — An Iranian presidential candidate has proposed
the formation of an international nuclear fuel consortium to neutralize opposition to Iran's enrichment program.
Mohsen Rezai, regarded as close to the dominant Islamic Revolutionary Guard
Corps, said if elected he would establish an international consortium that
would be responsible for nuclear fuel production and distribution. Rezai
said this would end Western opposition to Iran's uranium enrichment program,
banned by the International Atomic Energy Agency, Middle East Newsline reported.
"Iran would be able to continue enriching uranium with the active legal
participation of international bodies and other countries," Rezai said in an
interview with Iran's Press Television on June 1.
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Rezai, regarded as a dark horse challenger to President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad in June 12 elections, said the international nuclear fuel
consortium would be based in Iran. He said the company would invite European
and other Middle East states as shareholders.
"Each member would have its own rights, and Iran would head a governing
board that included international members," Rezai said.
Iran has sought to become a nuclear fuel supplier through its
development of uranium enrichment facilities at Natanz. Officials said Iran
was building a fleet of 54,000 gas centrifuges for an industrial nuclear
Despite his challenge, Rezai was said to be a firm supporter of Iran's
nuclear program. The remaining candidates in the presidential elections have
been former Prime Minister Mir Hossain Mousavi and former parliamentary
speaker Mahdi Karroubi.