Iran wants UN nuclear plan reviewed

Minister wants IAEA to establish panel to look at "technical and economic" aspects of deal.

    Iran's request aims to ease international tensions over Tehran's nuclear programme [EPA]

    The UN-drafted plan is designed to prevent Iran from trying to turn low-enriched uranium stockpile into highly-enriched uranium needed to build a nuclear bomb. 

    Last week the IAEA said it had received an "initial response" from Iran to the deal.

    Technical review

    Manouchehr Mottaki, the Iranian foreign minister, said on Monday his country wants the UN's nuclear watchdog to set up a technical panel to look at the proposal.

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    "We have considered this proposal, we have some technical and economic considerations on that," he told reporters at a meeting of foreign ministers from eight developing countries in Malaysia.

    "Two days ago, we passed our views and observations to the IAEA, so it is very much possible to establish a technical commission to review and reconsider all these issues."

    Mottaki said Iran was not rejecting the deal, but added that it will "continue enrichment" for nuclear power stations requiring fuel.

    Iran, he said, had three options to obtain fuel for its reactor which has been operating for 40 years, by either buying fuel from other countries, enrich the uranium itself or have the fuel processed by another country.

    If Tehran accepts the plan, it would not be able to replenish its stockpile to levels that would again yield enough enriched uranium for further enrichment into weapons-grade material for about a year.

    Western powers back the UN-drafted deal because it would ease a major concern that Iran is enriching uranium fuel for use in nuclear weapons, claims Iran consistently denies.

    On Sunday, Alexander Sadovnikov, the Russian envoy to Tehran, urged Iran to sign on to the fuel deal and resolve the controversy over its atomic drive, which he said lacked "complete transparency".

    "This is not to trick Iran in order to take its low-enriched uranium out of its hands," he said in an interview with the IRNA, the Iranian state news agency.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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