FM says Iran may agree to ship enriched uranium abroad
Iran's foreign minister said Monday that his country may agree to ship part of its stockpile of low enriched uranium abroad for further enrichment according to a U.N.-drafted plan. Manouchehr Mottaki's remarks were the first official indication that Iran may at least partly agree to the international plan to ship much of its uranium to Russia. According to the AP, Mottaki said a final decision over the plan will come "soon."
"To supply fuel, we may purchase it like in the past, or we may deliver part of (the low enriched uranium) fuel which we currently don't need," Mottaki stated. "A decision will be made in the next few days."
The U.N. plan envisioned Iran delivering up to 70 percent of its fuel abroad. In either case, Mottkai noted Tehran will continue to enrich its own uranium as well. "Iran's legal peaceful nuclear activities will continue and this issue (Iran's enrichment program) has nothing to do with supplying fuel for the Tehran reactor," he said.
On Sunday, Iran's parliament speaker Ali Larijani has accused the West of trying to cheat his country with the proposal.
Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner stressed the urgency over reaching an agreement over Iran's nuclear program in comments made during a visit to Beirut. He told the Daily Telegraph, in an interview published Monday, that time was running out since Israel might well launch a preemptive strike. "They (the Israelis) will not tolerate an Iranian bomb. We know that, all of us. So that is an additional risk and that is why we must decrease the tension and solve the problem," the French minister said.