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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

World powers, Iran to discuss uranium deal in Vienna

RIA Novosti

15:40 19/10/2009 VIENNA, October 19 (RIA Novosti) - The United States, Russia and France will try during talks on Monday to persuade Iran to send its uranium abroad for enrichment.

An International Atomic Energy Agency source told RIA Novosti that Iran, suspected by Western powers of pursuing a secret nuclear weapons program, has requested the IAEA's assistance in obtaining enriched uranium for its research reactor in Tehran. The reactor is used to produce isotopes for medical purposes.

"Iran needs 116 kg of uranium, enriched to 19.75%, for this reactor," the source said, adding that the Islamic Republic is currently able to enrich uranium to 5%.

Under the deal, agreed during a meeting in Geneva on October 1, Iran's low-enriched uranium, produced at a nuclear enrichment facility in Natanz, will undergo further enrichment in Russia. France would later make fuel assemblies.

The closed-door talks are to begin at 13:00 GMT in the headquarters of the UN nuclear watchdog.

Tehran is under three sets of UN Security Council sanctions over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment that could be used both for electricity generation and weapons production. Iran has recently unveiled its second uranium enrichment site in Qom, prompting calls for harsher sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

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