Iran to halt enrichment, if West provides uranium

Last Updated: Thursday, September 22, 2011 - 23:37

Washington: Iran has offered to stop its
production of low enriched uranium, provided the West gives it
the nuclear material, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in an
interview published in New York Times.

"If they give us the 20 per cent enriched uranium this
very week, we will cease the domestic enrichment of uranium of
up to 20 per cent this very week. We only want the 20 per cent
enrichment for our domestic consumption," Ahmadinejad said.

"If they give it to us according to international law,
according to IAEA laws, without preconditions, we will cease
domestic enrichment," he said, referring to the International
Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog.

He reiterated his stance that Tehran is only pursuing a
nuclear programme for domestic purposes, and not for the
production of atomic weapons as the West has alleged.

"This is not something we wish to produce and sell on the
open market," the Iranian leader said.

"Twenty per cent enriched uranium, as you know, is not
useful for much of anything other than the production of
cancer treatment medication. It is not useful for a power
plant."

Ahmadinejad, currently in New York where he is scheduled
later today to address the United Nations General Assembly,
told the Times that the deal would spare Iran the trouble and
expense of processing the enriched uranium itself.

"If they were willing to sell us the 20 per cent enriched
uranium we would have preferred to buy it. It would have been
far less expensive," he said.

"It`s as though you wish to purchase a vehicle for
yourself. No one is willing to sell it to you, then you must
set up your own production line to produce your own vehicle."

The UN Security Council in the past has slapped four
rounds of sanctions on Iran to get it to suspend uranium
enrichment, a process which can produce fuel for a reactor but
which it says, contrary to Ahmadinejad`s assertion, also can
be used in a nuclear warhead.

Bureau Report



First Published: Thursday, September 22, 2011 - 23:37

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