5+1 powers recognise Tehran’s right to a peaceful nuclear programme but urge it to resume negotiations; Ahmadinejad inaugurates the country’s first nuclear fuel manufacturing plant in Isfahan on ‘National Nuclear Day’
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  • At the P5+1 (permanent members of the UNSC and Germany) meeting in London on April 8 on the Iranian nuclear issue, the countries recognised Iran’s right to a civilian nuclear program but urged it to resume negotiations with the group. The members of the group also welcomed the change in the US policy towards Iran and its decision to participate in the proceedings1.

    President Ahmadinejad meanwhile inaugurated his country’s first nuclear fuel manufacturing plant in Isfahan on April 9, Iran’s ‘National Nuclear Day.’ Mr. Ahmadinejad during his speech stated that Iran had achieved its nuclear progress under “the worst political and psychological pressure, even the threat of military invasion.” The head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, Gholamreza Aghazadeh on his part announced that Iran had increased the number of its centrifuges to 7,000. In February, the IAEA had put the number at 5,600. The US State Department spokesman, Robert Wood on his part stated that Iran’s claims of nuclear advances should be viewed “with skepticism2.”

    In other developments, Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Kabir Farahi, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Mehdi Akhundzadeh, and Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir met in Islamabad to make preparations for an Afghanistan-Iran-Pakistan trilateral summit in Tehran next month, aimed at forging mutual understanding on key issues threatening regional peace and stability. The meeting agreed to pursue a common vision for peace, security, stability and prosperity by enhancing partnership on the basis of mutual interest and mutual respect and in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter3.