Iran to consider proposal for nuclear research in Russia
Iran on Wednesday expressed possible flexibility regarding an offer by Moscow to allow it to conduct nuclear research on Russian soil, rather than Iran, in an attempt to break the deadlock over Iran's nuclear program.
The Russian proposal would allow greater oversight of Iran's nuclear program, which the United States and European Union have claimed are for military purposes.
The comment came from Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, who said that the offer was a positive step towards ending the crisis between Iran and western states after meeting with Russian Security Council chief Igor Ivanov.
"This plan can be perfected in the future, during further talks that will be held in February," Larijani said, according to the AP.
Ivanov also expressed optimism, saying "Both sides expressed their desire to solve the issue in a diplomatic way within the framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency."
"Our view of this offer is positive, and we are trying to bring the positions of the sides closer," Larijani added.
He said that time would be needed to do so, however, and stressed that an agreement had yet to be made.
He also warned that if referred to the UN Security Council for sanctions due to its nuclear program, Iran would begin enriching uranium at its nuclear plants, an important step in creating a nuclear weapon.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has debated referral of Iran to the UN Security Council over its nuclear ambitions.
© 2006 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)