The story appears on

Page A10

October 22, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » World

Iran signals support for major deal on uranium

IRANIAN negotiators yesterday expressed support for a deal that - if accepted by their leaders - would commit Tehran to send most of its existing enriched uranium to Russia for processing, diplomats said.

International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei said that representatives of Iran and its three interlocutors - the United States, Russia and France - had accepted the draft for forwarding to their capitals. ElBaradei said he hoped for approval from all four countries by tomorrow.

Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's chief delegate, praised the draft, saying it was "on the right track," while emphasizing that senior Iranian officials in Tehran still had to sign off on it.

"We have to thoroughly study this text and also (need) further elaboration in capitals," Soltanieh said.

The apparent breakthrough came on the third day of talks in Vienna, Austria, which aimed to overcome differences over Iran's nuclear intentions.

While the US and other nations fear Iran may be interested in developing nuclear weapons, Tehran insists its activities are peaceful and meant only to generate energy for its growing population.

ElBaradei said he had "circulated a draft agreement that in my judgment reflects a balanced approach to how to move forward."

"Everybody who participated at the meeting was trying to look at the future not at the past, trying to heal the wounds," the IAEA chief added.

"I very much hope that people see the big picture, see that this agreement could open the way for a complete normalization of relations between Iran and the international community."

Neither Soltanieh nor Elbaradei gave details of what was in the package. But diplomats told The Associated Press that it was essentially the original proposal drawn up by the IAEA that would commit Tehran to shipping 75 percent of its enriched uranium stockpile to Russia for further enrichment.

After that material is turned into metal fuel rods, it would then be shipped back to Iran to power its small research reactor in Tehran, according to the draft.

Soltanieh suggested that his country had wrested concessions from Washington in exchange for any agreement.

While essentially technical, a deal would have significant political and strategic ramifications.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend