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Iran needs guarantees on nuke fuel exchange
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2009-11-25 08:00

Iranian officials said Tuesday that the country is not opposed to sending its low-grade uranium abroad, but requires "objective guarantees" on nuclear fuel exchange.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told a press conference in Tehran Tuesday that his country is not opposed to sending its low-enriched uranium abroad, but demands 100 percent guarantees for a nuclear fuel deal and the process needs further review by Iran.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast holds a press conference in Tehran, Iran, Nov. 24, 2009. Iran is not opposed to sending low-enriched uranium abroad, but demands 100 percent guarantees for a nuclear fuel deal, Ramin Mehmanparast said Tuesday at the press conference.(Xinhua/Ahmad Halabisaz)

Mehmanparast said Iran demands 100 percent guarantees of receiving nuclear fuel made from higher-enriched uranium for a research reactor in Tehran.

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator and Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Saeed Jalili also said Iran needs to receive "objective guarantees" for supplying nuclear fuel for the research reactor, the state-run IRNA news agency reported.

"If necessary guarantees are not given to Iran, the country will have other options," Jalili said on the sidelines of a gathering in Tehran, adding that if some (countries) fail to timely provide necessary fuel for Iran's research reactor based on Iran's will, then "this will add to the Iranians' distrust of them."

"Providing nuclear fuel for Tehran's research reactor is not a political issue and has nothing to do with Iran's talks with the six major powers... (it) is only a business matter and not even a technical or legal issue," he was quoted as saying.

He further expressed Tehran's readiness to keep the talks with world's six major powers about Iran's proposed package, but added that "They (six major powers) have, apparently, some discussions among themselves and are not ready now ... Whenever they are ready to continue talks on Iran's package of proposals, then we will welcome talking about the common concerns discussed in the package."

In the meantime, Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said Tuesday that "Iran's position concerning the necessity of objective guarantees (by the West) to provide fuel for Tehran Research Reactor means simultaneous swap of fuel in Iran," Salehi was quoted as saying by IRNA.

Iran is potentially able to provide its needed high grade enriched uranium but it prefers to buy it from abroad, Salehi said, adding that "There are a number of messages in our preference and we hope the other side (the West) understand these messages."

Speaking in an exclusive interview with IRNA, Salehi said "In case the West refuses to offer 20 percent enriched uranium or in other words if it intends to set conditions we will neither accept the dictated conditions nor will be ready to be treated in an unusual manner."

Iran has been repeatedly urged to respond to a draft deal brokered by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei.

The deal calls for shipping some 70 percent of Iran's low-level enriched uranium to Russia and France, where the low-enriched uranium would be processed into fuel rods with a purity of 20 percent.

The deal has been agreed by some parties involved in negotiations with Tehran, including the United States, Russia and France, but Iran wants amendments and more talks over the issue.

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