Saturday, October 4, 2008

IRAN WILLING TO ABANDON URANIUM ENRICHMENT, ENVOY SUGGESTS

Guardian, UK - Iran would consider suspending uranium enrichment if the country were guaranteed a supply of nuclear fuel for its power stations, a senior Iranian diplomat said.

Western officials responded cautiously to the remarks, pointing out that Iran had already been offered a legally binding fuel supply in a multinational proposal put forward in 2006, and renewed in June.

But the officials said the comments by Ali Asghar Soltanieh marked a break from Tehran's customary insistence that it would not negotiate its right to enrich uranium. . .

Soltanieh, Iran's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, was speaking to journalists after a meeting organised by the European Policy Centre thinktank in Brussels, where he suggested Iran's uranium enrichment might be a matter for negotiation. "We are going to continue as long as there is no legally binding internationally recognized instrument for assurance of supply," Soltanieh said. If IAEA members guaranteed that supply, "Iran would be able to reconsider the position". But Soltanieh suggested Iran might want to retain the capacity to enrich some uranium as a "contingency in case of interruption" in supply.

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