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Lawmaker says Iran will never close nuclear site

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February 17, 2013 09:58 AM EST | AP


TEHRAN,Iran — A prominent Iranian lawmaker is saying his country will never close the Fordo nuclear site in exchange for an ease in Western sanctions.

A Sunday report by the semi-official ISNA news agency quotes Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of the influential parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy, as saying Fordo is a "center that will never be closed."

Fordo, southwest of Tehran, is producing uranium enriched to 20 percent, which can be turned into weapons-grade material.

Boroujerdi said that closing the center, a longstanding demand by the West, would mean support to Israel, Iran's archenemy.

The remarks came 10 days before another round of nuclear talks between Iran and the West, which have been stalled since May.

The West suspects Iran is pursuing a weapons program, a charge Iran denies.