Iran has signalled a key shift in its nuclear policy.
President Mahmoud Admadinejad says the Islamic Republic is now ready to send its uranium abroad for further enrichment.The move, in line with UN-brokered proposals, could break an impasse over Iran’s disputed atomic programme.
Speaking on state television, Ahmadinejad said there was no problem sending Iran’s enriched uranium abroad.
“We will seal a contract and we will give you 3.5 per cent uranium to enrich it to 20 per cent levels in four or five months and return it to us,” he said.
Under the original plan, Iran would send the bulk of its low-enriched uranium to Russia and then to France for further processing. It is seen as a way of allowing Tehran to get the fuel it needs, while guaranteeing the uranium won’t be used to make atomic weapons.
Insisiting its nuclear ambitions are peaceful, Iran has faced intense international pressure to implement the plan, under threat of new sanctions. Its Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said the uranium could be exchanged in Turkey, Brazil or Japan if agreement is reached.