Iran Waffles on Nuke Deal

Talks begin today as state news hints out-of-country enrichment deal won't fly
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2009 11:33 AM CDT
Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, left, arrives for the opening of talks between Iran and six world powers to discuss the Islamic republic's disputed atomic program.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – State news reports coming out of Iran suggest that country is backpedaling on a possible deal to enrich partially processed uranium in Russia or France for use in nuclear power plants. State-run television reports that the government is in fact opposed to shipping partially enriched nuclear fuel outside of the country, and would prefer to buy the final product outright. Talks between Iran and the West start today, the BBC notes.

The US and other nations hope the deal will stymie Iran’s nuclear weapon ambitions, which it denies having. Elsewhere, an aide to Iran’s nuclear negotiator echos the anonymous state news reports, at least in part. The country will continue to enrich uranium to 5% and “retain the techniques and technology of enrichment,” he says. More highly enriched fuel “we will buy under the supervision of the IAEA or indeed we will do the enriching ourselves.”