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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia offers Iran 'uranium compromise'

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

London, Nov 10, IRNA
Iran Nuclear Program-Russia
Russia was reported Thursday to be proposing a compromise plan that will permit Iran to continue uranium conversion at its Isfahan plant.

According to the Financial Times, the offer is being put forward by secretary of Russia's National Security Council, during his three-day visit to Tehran, which begins on Friday.

The proposal was said to recognize Iran's right to nuclear technology as well as providing safeguards against the diversion of materials for any weapons program.

The key concession, previously rejected by the European Union, was to allow the development of an early part of the fuel cycle but stipulates that all uranium enrichment be carried out on Russian territory, the British daily suggested.

It said that the EU was considering a "role" for Isfahan in the compromise offer and quoted British officials saying the ideas were not to be "ruled out."
"We need to make sure the arrangements are proliferation-free," the official said.

He also suggested that if the proposal were deemed acceptable by European governments, the US would also back it.

The British Foreign Office was unable to comment directly on the reported offer but similarly indicated that it was not entirely ruling out a compromise.

"Any idea of this sort would be technically complicated and would require detained international consideration," a Foreign Office spokesman told IRNA.

The report comes after British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw chaired an EU foreign ministers Troika meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Wednesday.

A report in the New York Times Thursday also referred to the US and its EU allies allowing Iran to pursue limited nuclear activities under a proposal they hope will head off a confrontation over Tehran's program.

Last month, Britain's Ambassador to Tehran Richard Dalton told IRNA that the EU was planning to advance its original offer made to Iran to break the deadlock in negotiations with Iran.

"We think that the proposal that EU put forward can be certainly improved and the proposal of (the Iranian President) his Excellency Mr Ahmadinejad made in New York can clearly go on to the table," Dalton said.

HC/2326/1412




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