Iran threatens to drop nuclear offer if new UN sanctions approved

Iran threatens to drop nuclear offer if new UN sanctions approved
# 04 March 2010 20:55 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. Iran threatened on Thursday to give up its counter-proposal to the UN nuclear watchdog on a uranium swap, if new sanctions were adopted against the Islamic Republic, APA reports citing Ria Novosti.

"Iran’s proposal for a simultaneous exchange on the territory of the Islamic Republic of our low enriched uranium for fuel enriched to 20% is still on the table but it will not stay there forever," Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Tehran’s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), was quoted by the Mehr news agency as saying.

Under a plan drawn up by the IAEA last October, Iran was to ship out its low-enriched uranium to Russia, where it would be enriched and then sent to France where it would be made into fuel rods and sent back to the Islamic Republic for its reactor.

The proposal was approved by the six international powers negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program, but Tehran stalled and then rejected the plan, suggesting it could consider a simultaneous swap of its low-enriched uranium for 20%-enriched uranium, but that the exchange would have to take place on its own territory.

On Wednesday, diplomats from the United States, France and Britain said they had sent draft proposals on a new Security Council resolution imposing a fourth set of sanctions against the Islamic Republic to the Russian and Chinese delegations at the UN.

Western powers suspect that Iran’s nuclear program is aimed at making weapons, while Tehran claims it needs enriched uranium for civilian energy purposes.
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