Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Moscow expects positive Iran response to fuel deal soon

RIA Novosti

16:29 06/11/2009 MOSCOW, November 6 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow expects Tehran to accept the UN-sponsored nuclear fuel deal soon, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Friday.

"We are counting on Tehran to make a positive response to the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] in the very near future," Andrei Nesterenko said.

"Any technical details that are bound to arise during the deal's implementation can be addressed as it moves along."

Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States have been trying to persuade Iran to halt uranium enrichment for economic and diplomatic incentives.

The French foreign minister said on Monday the Iran Six will not tolerate delaying tactics from Tehran.

Iran earlier said it wanted more talks on the deal, including fuel delivery guarantees, and also stated it would like to buy directly enriched material.

Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Tehran's envoy to the IAEA, said Iran wanted to address "technical issues," specifically "guarantees for the supply of the fuel as soon as possible" under IAEA supervision.

A senior Iranian lawmaker last week criticized a plan that requires the country to send its nuclear fuel abroad for processing due to a lack of guarantees over its return.

The IAEA, at the October 21 meeting in Vienna with Iran, France, Russia and the U.S., developed a package of proposals on nuclear fuel supplies for the Tehran reactor. Moscow, Paris and Washington said October 23 they approved the IAEA proposals.

IAEA initiatives envision that Iran's low-enriched uranium, produced at a nuclear enrichment facility in Natanz, will undergo further enrichment in Russia. France would later make fuel assemblies.

Iran has rejected Western suspicions that it secretly plans to build nuclear weapons and insisted on its right to nuclear technology for electricity generation.

Russia has consistently supported Iran's right to peaceful nuclear energy, and has almost completed the country's first nuclear power plant in Bushehr.

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