Iran appears to have rejected a UN-backed plan to cut its nuclear fuel stockpile. Instead of responding to the proposal Tehran has put forward an alternative that would allow it buy nuclear fuel from abroad.France, one of the Western powers involved in the negotiations, said the signs were not positive and that Iran’s failure to sign up was putting future talks at risk. Analysts say Iran’s counter proposal offers the major powers little. Not only would it fail to reduce Tehran’s enriched uranium stocks but would also require existing sanctions to be lifted. The plan, drawn up by the IAEA, the UN’s nuclear, watchdog, would see Iran send low-level uranium to Russia, to be enriched to the maximum level so it could not be used for weapons. The material would then go to France to be turned into nuclear piles, before returning to Iran. The process would give Tehran enough uranium to generate electricity. The Iranian leadership has long maintained this is its sole aim. But this latest manoeuvre keeps the propsect of new sanctions on the table. .