Iran Nuclear NewsPowers have made new enrichment offer: Iran

Powers have made new enrichment offer: Iran

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ImageAFP: Major powers have made a new offer to Iran for the supply of nuclear fuel in return for it shipping out of most of its stocks of low enriched uranium, atomic energy organisation chief Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted as saying on Monday. ImageTEHRAN (AFP) — Major powers have made a new offer to Iran for the supply of nuclear fuel in return for it shipping out of most of its stocks of low enriched uranium, atomic energy organisation chief Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted as saying on Monday.

"After the decision by Iran to produce its own uranium enriched to 20 percent, France, Russia and the United States presented a new proposal which we are in the process of considering," Salehi said, according to the ILNA news agency.

He gave no details of the new offer.

Last week, Iran announced that it had started enriching uranium to the 20 percent level required for a Tehran medical research reactor itself after rejecting an earlier plan put forward by the powers last year for the supply of the fuel.

"The proposal from these countries will only lead to a halt to the enrichment (to 20 percent) if all the conditions that Iran has made for the exchange of (low enriched) uranium for fuel are respected," Salehi said.

"Various countries have contacted Iran with ideas for the exchange of uranium for fuel and they are currently being considered," he added.

Western governments have been pushing for Iran to ship out most of its stockpiles of low enriched uranium before receiving fuel for the Tehran reactor from France and Russia.

Iran has insisted that it should only send out the uranium as it receives the fuel and has demanded that the exchange happen on its own soil.

The UN nuclear watchdog has proposed that as a compromise the fuel be swapped in a third country and Turkey, which has good relations with its Iranian neighbour, has offered to host the exchange.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was due to fly into Tehran later on Monday for talks with Iranian leaders on Tuesday.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that several months of efforts by Ankara to broker a compromise had yet to bear fruit.

"The International Atomic Energy Agency has said Turkey could serve as the centre for the exchange of uranium … but there is no agreement up until now," he said at a press conference in the Qatari capital Doha.

"If Turkey is chosen, it will do what it is asked to do," he added.

While in Doha, Erdogan held talks with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who was on a Gulf tour aimed at drumming up support for tough new sanctions against Iran.

Turkey, NATO's only member that neighbours Iran, insists the nuclear row should be resolved through dialogue, arguing that economic sanctions or military action against Iran would have a damaging impact on the whole region.

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