China hopes for early consensus on Iran's nuclear-fuel supply issue

21:35, February 04, 2010      

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China hopes relevant parties and the International Atomic Energy Agency could reach consensus on Iran's nuclear-fuel supply issue at an early date, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in Beijing Thursday.

Ma's remarks came two days after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that there is "no problem" if Iran ships abroad its low-grade enriched uranium and takes upgraded uranium several months later.

"Even if we (first) give them (Russia and France) 3.5 percent (uranium) fuel, there is no problem," Ahmadinejad said in an interview with Iran's state TV Tuesday, adding Iran can take back the 20 percent enriched uranium four or five months later.

Ahmadinejad's remarks signaled a major change in Tehran's position, as the Iranian government rejected the Dec. 31, 2009 deadline set by the United States for Iran to accept a UN-drafted deal for swapping its low-enriched uranium for nuclear fuel outside Iran.

Under a draft deal brokered by the IAEA, most of Iran's existing low-grade enriched uranium will be shipped to Russia and France, where it would be processed into fuel rods with a purity of 20 percent. The higher-level enriched uranium will then be transported back to Iran.

Ma said an early consensus on the issue would be conducive to an appropriate solution to the Iran nuclear issue.

Source: Xinhua
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