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Iran to Discuss Proposal to Enrich Uranium for Its Reactors in Russia

Fri, 01/20/2006 - 2:51am
Nancy Syverson

The head of Russia’s atomic energy agency said today that Iran is ready for detailed discussions on the proposal to conduct Iran’s uranium enrichment in Russia, The Associated Press reported.

The proposal, under which uranium would be enriched in Russia for use in Iranian reactors, is aimed at eliminating concerns that Iran could enrich its own uranium to higher levels for use in nuclear weapons.

The United States and the European Union have backed the Russian proposal as a way out of the deadlock over Iran’s nuclear program. International pressure on Iran has mounted sharply over the past two weeks since Iran removed United Nations seals on its uranium-enrichment facility in Natanz.

Western countries are pushing for Iran to be referred to the U.N. Security Council, a move that could bring sanctions. Russia and China have held back from supporting the referral, although the Kremlin has said it is concerned over Iran’s defiance of the international community.

Iran “considers our proposal extremely interesting and is prepared for detailed discussions,” Sergei Kiriyenko, the head of the Russian atomic energy agency, told President Vladimir Putin in televised remarks.

“Our Iranian partners should come here in the near future, and talks will take place constantly,” Kiriyenko said.

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