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Iran opts out of uranium enrichment deal - MP

RIA Novosti

07/11/200913:55

MOSCOW, November 7 (RIA Novosti) - Iran will not ship out its low-enriched uranium for further processing abroad, a senior Iranian MP said on Saturday.

"We will not give away any part of our 1,200 kilograms of enriched uranium to receive 20% enriched fuel," Alaeddin Borujerdi, head of the parliamentary national security and foreign policy commission, was quoted by national news agencies as saying.

He said Iran would prefer a direct deal with fuel supplying countries, adding that Iran's permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Ali Soltanieh, was currently "in talks to find an approach to the issue."

He shrugged off Western demands that Iran respond to the UN-sponsored deal as soon as possible, saying "the West cannot set any deadlines."

October talks in Vienna between Iran, the UN, the U.S., Russia and France on its nuclear program ended with a deal involving Iran shipping out its low-enriched uranium to Russia and France. Under the deal, the uranium would be enriched in Russia and then sent to France to prepare it for use in an Iranian reactor.

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

Tehran has rejected Western suspicions that it secretly plans to build nuclear weapons and insists 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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