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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

U.S. considers IAEA draft deal on Iran as positive step - Kelly

RIA Novosti

05:44 22/10/2009 MOSCOW, October 22 (RIA Novosti) - The United States approves the outcome of talks between Iran and three world powers on Tehran's nuclear program and considers a subsequent draft deal of UN nuclear watchdog as a positive step forward, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of State said.

"We greatly appreciate IAEA Director General [Mohamed] ElBaradei's skillful efforts and dedication to pursue this initiative of getting Iran to send out their low-enriched uranium to third countries," Ian Kelly told a daily press briefing in Washington.

The Vienna talks earlier this week, aimed at easing international suspicions of a covert Iranian atomic weapons program, involved Iran, the UN, the U.S., Russia and France and ended in a draft deal that was submitted to the sides for approval by Friday.

"We think that the draft agreement presented by him today in Vienna was a very positive step. And I think you've seen that he expects by Friday to get a response on this draft text from the four capitals involved," he added.

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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