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IAEA hopeful of Iran deal despite changes

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IAEA hopeful of Iran deal despite changes


The UN’s atomic energy agency, the IAEA, says it remains hopeful of a deal with Iran after the Islamic Republic gave its first response to a plan to resolve a dispute over its nuclear programme.

Tehran is understood to have proposed basic changes to the plan that would have to be agreed by Western powers. Iran says economic factors have to be considered. Its envoy to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltaneih said: “We expect that our technical and economic concerns will be taken into consideration, when dealing with modality of supply of nuclear fuel for Tehran reactor.” The West suspects Tehran is trying to develop nuclear weapons at a number of sites across the country – a claim Iran strongly denies. The plan drawn up by the IAEA centres on tranferring Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium abroad for further treatment. It is believed the Iranian leadership wants this to take place in stages, and not a single consignment as the West would prefer. With the scene set for further delicate negotiations, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is sounding bullish. He told supporters at a rally in the capital that Iran would never give up its nuclear programme and that the IAEA plan was a climbdown by the West.

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