United Nations: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
encouraged Iran to accept a UN-drafted plan to ship much of
its uranium abroad for enrichment, saying it would be "an
important confidence-building measure."
Iranian lawmaker Mohammad Karamirad said the government
will formally respond today to the proposal to send enriched
uranium out of the country for processing, according to the
semiofficial ISNA news agency.
Iran`s refusal to suspend uranium enrichment has led to
three rounds of increasingly tough UN sanctions. Tehran
insists its program is purely peaceful and defends the right
to develop fuel for electricity-generating reactors.
Even as the Iranian government mulls the deal for
shipping uranium abroad, it has made clear it will push ahead
with its nuclear program and continue enriching uranium.
The plan that Tehran is considering was formalized by the
United Nations last week after talks between Iran and the
United States, Russia and France.
It calls for Iran to ship 70 percent of its low enriched
uranium to Russia in one batch by the end of the year for
further enrichment. It would then be sent to France to be made
into isotopes for use in a Tehran research reactor.
The US and its allies back the deal because it would, at
least temporarily, leave Iran`s uranium stockpiles too low to
build a nuclear weapon which they suspect is Tehran`s real