Iran Agrees to Suspend Uranium Conversion

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Monday, November 15, 2004

TEHRANHassan Rowhani, head of the Supreme National Security Council for Iran, announced Monday that the country would temporarily suspend conversion of uranium as of November 22. "Iran is planning to suspend uranium conversion activities from November 22," Rowhani said during a news conference.

Uranium is a chemical element which can be used in nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants. The process of conversion modifies the uranium oxydes into uranium hexafluoride. The purpose of such a conversion process is usually an intermediate step in the production of nuclear fuel. Uranium hexafluoride cannot itself be used in a nuclear weapon, but can be enriched into weapons-grade uranium, or it can be converted into plutonium in a nuclear reactor. Iran has claimed to be using its nuclear program for only peaceful nuclear energy, rather than for nuclear weapons, but there are concerns in the European Union and the USA as to whether they are being truthful.


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