Iran insists it will not ship uranium stocks abroad
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Last Updated: Monday, November 23, 2009, 22:58
Tehran: Iran will not ship its low enriched uranium abroad, a top security official said on Monday, renewing the government's rejection of UN-drafted proposals aimed at allaying concerns over its nuclear ambitions.

"No fuel is supposed to leave Iran," the Mehr news agency quoted the deputy secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Ali Bagheri, as saying.

The shipping out of more than 70 percent of Iran's low enriched uranium stocks is a central plank of the proposed deal with the major powers under which it would receive fuel enriched to the 20 percent level required for a Tehran research reactor from Russia and France.

Bagheri is number two to Saeed Jalili, who heads the council and is Iran's chief nuclear negotiator.

He said Iran was only ready to agree to an exchange inside the country and said it needed to receive the fuel for its reactor at the same time as it handed over its stocks.

"One of the ways to guarantee the supply of fuel for the Tehran reactor is the simultaneous exchange of the 3.5 per cent fuel for the 20 percent inside Iran," he said.

He said world powers "know Iran's position and, if they wanted to disagree with a simultaneous exchange they would have done it already."

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, November 23, 2009, 22:58

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