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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Cautious on Nuclear Proposal

By VOA News
22 October 2009

Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says a proposal to ease Western concerns about its nuclear program is "on the right track," but that Iran needs time to evaluate it.

Iran's IAEA ambassador, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, met Wednesday in Vienna with agency head Mohamed ElBaradei and officials from France, Russia, and the United States.

In 2 1/2 days of talks, negotiators had been discussing a proposal to have Iran ship uranium to Russia and France for conversion to fuel for an Iranian research reactor.

ElBaradei has said he hopes for approval from all parties by Friday.

In Washington, a U.S. State Department spokesman, Ian Kelly, told reporters that the U.S. delegation at the Vienna talks found the draft acceptable.

Earlier this week, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Iran is opposed to France's involvement, and he accused the country of failing to deliver nuclear supplies in the past.

Western diplomats consider third-party uranium processing to be a confidence-building measure. They say it will ensure that Iran's uranium is enriched to levels suitable for civilian use but below what is needed for nuclear weapons.

The United Nations Security Council has imposed three sets of sanctions on Iran for its refusal to halt its enrichment activities.

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