U.S. supports IAEA's proposal on Iran's low enriched uranium

09:03, October 22, 2009      

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The United States on Wednesday voiced its support for an proposal by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that the enriched uranium with a higher purity needed for research reactor in Iran would be produced abroad.

"We greatly appreciate IAEA Director General ElBaradei's skillful efforts and dedication to pursue this initiative of getting Iran to send out their low-enriched uranium to third countries," State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told a news briefing.

"We think that the draft agreement presented by him (ElBaradei) today in Vienna was a very positive step," said Kelly when he was asked to comment on the nuclear-fuel talks held in Vienna among the United States, Russia, France and Iran.

"It was a good effort by the director general. And we support it. And we expect by Friday to be able to say that we approve it," Kelly said.

On Oct. 1, senior officials from the United States, Britain, Russia, France, Germany and China held talks with their Iranian counterparts in Geneva, during which the Iranian side agreed in principle to ship most of its existing low-grade enriched uranium to Russia and France, where it would be processed into fuel rods with a purity of 20 percent.

The enriched uranium would be transported back to Iran to be used in a research reactor for the manufacture of medical radioisotopes.

In its recent talks with major powers, Iran has also agreed to allow IAEA inspectors into its newly disclosed nuclear facilities for verification.

The United States and its Western allies have been accusing Iran of secretly developing nuclear weapons under the disguise of developing civilian nuclear power. Iran has denied the accusation and stressed that its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes.

Source: Xinhua
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