Still No Word From Iran on Proposed Nuclear Deal
By VOA News
23 October 2009
There is still no word from Iran on whether it will accept a uranium enrichment deal proposed by the United Nations nuclear agency, but the French foreign minister says the signs are, in his words, "not positive."
The plan would give Iran access to uranium enriched to a level sufficient for civilian use, but lower than what is needed for a nuclear weapon. Negotiators in Vienna had set a Friday deadline for an agreement.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said the indications from Tehran are "not positive." But he said he retains hope the Iranians will still accept the deal.
Iranian state television is quoting an unidentified Iranian negotiator as saying Tehran is awaiting a "positive and constructive" response from world powers to its proposal.
The negotiator did not elaborate, and it was not immediately clear if he was referring to a counterproposal.
The deal was proposed by the International Atomic Energy Agency following talks between Iran, the United States, France and Russia. All three countries say they support the plan.
Details of the proposal have not been made public.
On Thursday, Iranian media quoted the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, as saying Tehran will not abandon or limit its uranium enrichment activities.
Iranian media reported a senior Iranian lawmaker Thursday dismissed the draft proposal, saying it is not acceptable. But deputy parliament speaker Mohammad Reza Bahonar does not speak for the government.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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