U.S. ready to offer Iran alternative to nuclear plan

U.S. ready to offer Iran alternative to nuclear plan
# 10 February 2010 04:03 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. In what appears to be an attempt to call Iran’s bluff on its nuclear program, the United States is poised to offer Tehran a way to obtain medical isotopes that Iran says it desperately needs to treat cancer patients, according to the State Department, APA reports citing CNN.

The United States, along with "other countries," will present a new proposal to the International Atomic Energy Agency to provide Iran with those isotopes, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Tuesday.

"Our point is, if Iran feels it has a specific need, we are willing to engage constructively and try to identify ways in which the international community and potentially the United States can meet that need," Crowley said.

The move appeared to be a response to Iran’s announcement Monday that it will carry out its own uranium enrichment to 20 percent to provide fuel to make the isotopes. The United States, along with other countries, questioned Iran’s motives for that enrichment, saying it increases Iran’s ability to produce fuel for a nuclear weapon. Crowley told reporters that under the new proposal, the international community would "facilitate Iran’s procurement of medical isotopes from third countries."

"There are alternatives," Crowley said. "The Iranian decision to improve their processing to 20 percent is an unnecessary step." Providing the opportunity to buy the isotopes directly, Crowley said, would be the "fastest and cheapest" way for Iran to avoid running out of isotopes and could help "build confidence."
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