Tehran: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday called forthcoming talks over uranium exchange a "test" for future fruitful cooperation with the West.
An Iranian delegation, headed by atomic organisation chief Ali-Akbar Salehi, will meet on October 19 in Vienna with representatives from the US, Russia and France to discuss exchanging low-enriched uranium with other countries for high-enriched fissile material.
At talks in Geneva earlier this month, Iran agreed to consider sending low-enriched uranium to foreign countries for further enrichment so that it could be put to medical use after it was re-imported.
Ahmadinejad said on state television that swapping 3.5 percent-enriched uranium from the Natanz plant in central Iran for 20 percent-material from foreign countries was a test for starting fruitful and constructive cooperation with the world powers and removing all ambiguities about Iran's nuclear programme.
The 20 percent-enriched uranium is supposed to be used for the Tehran reactor, which is a basic research reactor producing medical isotopes.
Following the Vienna meeting and before the end of October, representatives from Iran and the six world powers involved in the nuclear negotiations - Britain, China, France, Germany, the US and Russia - are scheduled to meet again to follow up on talks about Iran's nuclear programme held in Geneva on October 1.
Ahmadinejad said that any failure of the talks and probable renewed sanctions against Tehran would harm the West more than Iran.
The International Atomic Organisation said if talks failed over the uranium exchange, Iran would be able to enrich the uranium by itself although it preferred Tehran purchase the material from abroad.
First Published: Monday, October 12, 2009, 10:04