Iran may have elected a “moderate” new president but its nuclear program will continue, according to the country’s nuclear energy chief.
Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said on Friday that the Bushehr nuclear power plant was put into operation three days ago and added that Tehran has no plans to curb its uranium enrichment program, according to Russia Today.
Davani, who arrived in St. Petersburg for the AtomExpo 2013 international industry forum, said that production of nuclear fuel would "continue in line with our declared goals. The enrichment linked to fuel production will also not change."
He once again stressed the Iranian nuclear program is peaceful and pursues two primary targets, which are nuclear power generation and the production of radioisotope products, according to Russia Today.
"According to these two goals, we maintain our plans to produce nuclear energy and fuel, as well as the enrichment of uranium to provide fuel for the reactors,” he said.
Davani added that the controversial Iran's underground Fordow facility, which the West wants Tehran to close, will remain operational.
He promised that Iran will soon provide the International Atomic Energy Agency with a list of selected sites for new nuclear power plants in the country.
Iran has held several rounds of talks with six major powers -- the U.S., China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany, known collectively as the P5+1, about its nuclear program. Each round has ended without results.
The P5+1 is particularly concerned about Iran's enrichment to levels of up to 20 percent and wants it to shut the Fordow fortified bunker where the sensitive activity is conducted. The group also wants Iran to ship out its existing stockpile of 20-percent enriched material.
Iran recently elected “moderate” Hassan Rowhani as the country’s new president, but he stressed soon after his election that Tehran would not consider halting the country’s uranium enrichment activities entirely.
Rowhani insisted that Iran’s nuclear activities are “within the framework of law,” and dubbed the international sanctions “baseless.” At the same time, he said that Iran is “ready to show greater transparency and make clear for the whole world that the steps of the Islamic Republic of Iran are completely within international frameworks."
On Wednesday, Iran’s Supreme Leader blamed the West for the standoff over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the standoff can be solved easily if the Western states stop their stubborn attitude.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)