Washington: The United States reacted cautiously on Wednesday to a statement by Iran`s President accepting a swap of enriched uranium for nuclear fuel, saying Tehran should submit a formal offer of the deal to international authorities.
"If Mr (Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad`s comments reflect an updated Iranian position, we look forward to Iran informing the IAEA," White House official Mike Hammer said, referring to the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency.
Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday that Iran was willing to send its uranium abroad in exchange for processed nuclear fuel -- seemingly accepting a deal put forward by nations who fear Tehran is trying to develop nuclear weapons.
Iran would have "no problem" sending out its stocks of low-enriched uranium (LEU) to be further purified into reactor fuel for use at a research facility, Ahmadinejad said in a television interview.
Hammer, spokesman for President Barack Obama`s National Security Council, said the West had made a "good faith and balanced offer" that would provide Iran with fuel for a research reactor.
"We believe it makes sense for all parties," he said. Iran needs nuclear fuel to power its UN-monitored reactor but the West fears its uranium enrichment programme is masking efforts to produce atomic weapons -- claims vehemently denied by the Islamic republic.