Iran ready to accept cap on uranium enrichment as US considering direct talks

Published May 27th, 2006 - 07:10 GMT

Iran is ready to accept a cap on its uranium enrichment capability to ensure the fuel produced is not used to develop nuclear weapons, the Islamic Republic's ambassador to the United Nations said, AFP reported.


Speaking at a luncheon with reporters at his residence, Javad Zarif said Tehran "is willing to accept a cap on the level of enrichment." "This cap I think should be below 10, meaning reactor grade," he said. "Iran is prepared to put in place other measures to ensure fuel produced is not re-enriched and used for nuclear (weapons) purposes."


Early this month, Iran declared that it had managed to enrich uranium up to 4.8% and said it had no plan to go beyond that level.


Meanwhile, the Bush administration is starting to debate whether to abandon its policy and open direct talks with Iran, to help avert a crisis over Tehran's suspected nuclear weapons program, European officials and Americans close to the administration told the NY Times.


European officials who have been in contact with the administration in recent weeks said the discussion was heating up, as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice worked with European foreign ministers to persuade Iran to suspend its efforts to enrich uranium.



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