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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran nuclear talks end with draft deal

RIA Novosti

17:53 21/10/2009 VIENNA, October 21 (RIA Novosti) - Talks between Iran and three world powers on Tehran's nuclear program ended on Wednesday and a draft deal has been submitted to the sides for approval by Friday, the UN nuclear watchdog head said.

"I have circulated a draft agreement that in my judgment reflects a balanced approach to how to move forward," International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohamed ElBaradei told journalists.

The Vienna talks, aimed at easing international suspicions of a covert Iranian atomic weapons program, involved Iran, the UN, the U.S., Russia and France.

There has been no confirmation of the exact nature of the draft deal, but it is believed to involve the export by Iran of uranium to Russia and France. The uranium would be enriched in Russia and then sent to France to prepare it for use in an Iranian reactor. The uranium would not be able to be used in the creation of a nuclear bomb.

"I very much hope that people see the big picture - that this agreement could pave the way for a complete normalization of relations between Iran and the international community," the IAEA chief said.

Iran is under three sets of UN Security Council sanctions over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment. The country recently admitted having a second uranium enrichment site in Qom, sparking international calls for harsher sanctions.

The Islamic Republic has consistently denied it is seeking to make nuclear weapons, but has insisted on its right to a peaceful program aimed at generating energy.

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