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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian, U.S. presidents approve results of Iran talks - Kremlin

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, October 24 (RIA Novosti) - The presidents of Russia and the United States discussed on Saturday this week's talks in Vienna on the Iranian nuclear program and assessed the results positively, the Kremlin press service reported.

Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama discussed the negotiations during a telephone call initiated by the U.S. side, the Kremlin said.

"Obama noted the crucial role of Russia in bringing the negotiations to a positive conclusion. In turn, Dmitry Medvedev stressed the importance of the U.S. declaration of its readiness to provide written guarantees for the scheme of exchange of uranium fuel for the research reactor proposed by Russia and the U.S.," the statement said.

Russia, France and the United States on Friday formally approved a package of proposals by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for the supply of nuclear fuel for a research reactor in Tehran, and now await a response from Iran.

After the discussions in the Austrian capital, which ended on Wednesday, IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said that Iran, France, Russia and the United States had until Friday to endorse the deal, which involves Iran shipping 1.2 tons of low enriched uranium to Russia, where it would be enriched and sent on to France for processing into fuel rods.

The complex arrangement is necessary because only France produces fuel rods that will fit the Iranian research reactor, built in Tehran by Argentinean experts using French technology.

Iran asked on Friday for more time to assess the deal, and some senior politicians have spoken out against the plan.

Iran is under three sets of UN Security Council sanctions over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment. The country recently admitted to 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 electricity.

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