Iran shutting down its Fordow nuclear plant? Unlikely, says Russian expert

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ASTANA. February 25. KAZINFORM Iran will never shut down its Fordow uranium enrichment plant, Vladimir Sazhin, senior researcher at the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Oriental Studies, surmises.

"I am no way optimistic about the upcoming talks on Iran's nuclear program in Almaty. Six world powers insist Iran should stop enriching uranium, at least for the period of negotiations, and shut down its Fordow nuclear plant. But Iran will never close its nuclear facility," Mr. Sazhin voiced his opinion during the "Astana-Moscow-Yerevan" teleconference bridge on the topic of "Iranian factor in the context of regional security" prior to the talks between the 'six' and Iran in Almaty this week.

According to the Russian expert, Iran has recently announced its ambitious plans to build 20 new nuclear blocs. "When Iran upgrades its centrifuges, the process of uranium enrichment will speed up 3-5 times. And this fact causes discontent among the 'six'," Professor Sazhin said.

In his words, however, some of the Iranian elite are ready to make a compromise because the country's economy is in deep water.

The next round of negotiations on Iran's nuclear program starts in Almaty on Tuesday, February 26. It will bring together representatives of Iran and the 'six', namely Russia, the U.S., China, Great Britain, France and Germany.

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