Russia backs nuclear deal on Iran

Moscow agrees to IAEA plan for Iran to ship out enriched uranium, as deadline looms.

    ElBaradei set Friday as the deadline for the four powers to accept or reject the proposal [EPA]

    France also confirmed its approval of the proposals on Friday, a foreign ministry spokesman said.

    "The draft agreement suits France. We have made this known in an official manner," the AFP news agency quoted Bernard Valero as saying.

    'Past mistakes'

    Iran said it was awaiting a "positive and constructive" response from world powers on the draft proposal, state television reported.

    "The other party is expected to avoid past mistakes in violating agreements ... and to gain Iran's trust," a member of Iran's negotiating team at the IAEA was quoted as saying.

    A source close to Saeed Jalili, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, told Al Jazeera's Nazanine Moshiri in Tehran that it will not agree to give away 75 per cent of its enriched uranium stockpile, which is recommended under the proposal.

    The unnamed source says Iran will say how much they will export and that it is not up to other nations to tell them what to do, our correspondent said.

    On Thursday Mohammad Reza Bahonar, Iran's deputy parliament speaker rejected the draft plan, saying: "The United States demanded Iran ship uranium abroad, in return for getting fuel back ... Iran does not accept this".

    Nuclear ambitions

    The plan is being seen by the international community as a way to curb Iran's ability to build a nuclear weapon, which it denies it plans to do.

    Exact details of ElBaradei's arrangement are not yet known, but diplomats say it calls on Iran to hand over 1,200kg of the low-enriched uranium it has to Russia by the end of the year.

    Russia would enrich the material to the 19.75 per cent needed to use it in a research reactor that makes radio-isotopes for medical use.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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