Iran outlines N-fuel deal to IAEA

Expects Russia, France and the US to accept agreement quickly; world powers doubtful


But Western powers see the deal, reflecting one Iran backed out of six months ago, as overtaken by events including escalating enrichment by Tehran and, along with Russia and China, have drafted broader sanctions against the Islamic state.

Iran has threatened to ditch the plan if it gets hit with a fourth UN sanctions resolution, envisaged for adoption next month, suggesting Tehran’s gesture may be too little, too late.
The proposal to swap low-enriched uranium (LEU) for fuel to run an Iranian medical research reactor, aimed at allaying fears Iran is trying to amass fissile material for nuclear weapons, was forged last week by Tehran with Turkey and Brazil.

A letter signed by Iranian nuclear programme chief Ali Akbar Salehi was handed over to International Atomic Energy Agency director-general Yukiya Amano at a meeting in Vienna, an Iranian diplomat said.

Major step
Iran’s Arabic-language al-Alam state television quoted Salehi’s letter as saying the deal was “a major step forward” towards defusing tensions over its nuclear energy programme.
Iran’s envoy to the IAEA made clear the deal would not restrict uranium enrichment in Iran in any way. Ali Asghar Soltanieh said in a message to France, Russia and the US: “We expect (this offer) to be realised as soon as possible.”

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