Tokyo: Iran will study a Japanese offer to enrich uranium for Tehran to allow it access to nuclear power for peaceful purposes, an Iranian politician was quoted as saying in Tokyo on Thursday.
"It has the substance to be worth discussing. We want to deepen the discussion on it," visiting parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani told reporters late Wednesday, according to the Nikkei business daily.
Japan had made the offer, with the US backing, in December during a Tokyo visit by Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, according to an earlier Nikkei report which Japan's government has declined to confirm or deny.
The only country to have been attacked with atomic bombs, Japan has long been a strong proponent of global nuclear non-proliferation efforts, while it also has good ties with Iran, one of its main energy suppliers.
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama urged Larijani on Wednesday to prove to the world that its nuclear project is for peaceful purposes and not to make a bomb.
Teheran should implement UN Security Council resolutions and fully co-operate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) "to remove all the doubts about Iran's nuclear development", Hatoyama told Larijani.
Larijani denied Iran was seeking weapons of mass destruction, which is the suspicion held by the United States and European powers.
Iran has so far failed to take up an IAEA offer under which Russia would enrich its uranium and France would process it. Tehran this month said it had begun enriching uranium itself to a higher level.
Larijani was on Saturday due to visit the western Japanese city of Nagasaki, which was hit with an American atomic bomb at the end of World War II, three days after a US nuclear attack devastated nearby Hiroshima.
Hatoyama said he hoped Larijani would see the "horror" wrought by nuclear weapons in Nagasaki. The premier added that Japan regards Iran as "an important country" and wishes to further enhance bilateral relations.
First Published: Thursday, February 25, 2010, 12:44