Iran Opts Out of Russian Enrichment Plan: (TEHRAN) Iran said Sunday it had ruled out a proposal to move its uranium enrichment program to Russia, further complicating the international dispute over the country’s nuclear program.

Russia has sought to persuade Iran to move its enrichment program to Russian territory to allow closer international monitoring. The U.S. and the
European Union had backed the idea as a way to ensure Iran would not misuse the process to make nuclear weapons.

Iran had insisted that the plan was negotiable and reached basic agreement with Moscow, but details were never worked out.

‘The Russian proposal is not on our agenda any more,’ Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters.

Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, meanwhile, said Iran had no intention to use oil as a weapon in its confrontation with the West over its nuclear program, contradicting comments made a day earlier by the interior minister.

‘The Islamic Republic of Iran is insisting to provide Asia with the oil it needs as a reliable and effective source of energy and will not use oil as a foreign policy instrument,’ he told a conference on energy and security issues in Tehran.” More…

This showdown seem inevitable now. The IAEA will certainly now refer the Iranian uranium enrichment program to the U.N. Security Council. Russia had been desperatly been trying to find a way to avoid confrontation but with this turn of events, the outcome seems inevitable.