BRUSSELS, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Western leaders raised the possibility of sanctions against Iran if it continues to refuse to accept a draft agreement to export most of its enriched uranium.
"We are disappointed by the lack of follow-up" to the understanding reached in Geneva Oct. 1, the officials said Friday in a statement. The statement was issued in Brussels on behalf of the European Union, the United States, Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain.
The deal calls for Iran to remove about 2,600 pounds of lightly enriched uranium, an estimated 70 percent of its known supplies, to be processed in Russia and France into nuclear fuel for a reactor that makes medical isotopes, The New York Times reported.
But, the newspaper said, Iran says it won't export any uranium until it gets the fuel. That would defeat the purpose of exporting the uranium: to reduce Iran's nuclear stockpile below the amount necessary to make a nuclear weapon.
"There's a window of opportunity for Iran," Robert Wood, a deputy State Department spokesman, said in a briefing Friday. "That window is not going to be open forever. And if (Iran) doesn't respond to the calls of the international community for it to live up to its international obligations, then we will have to look at the pressure track."
Iran's foreign minister announced Wednesday that his country opposes the deal to have another country turn Iran's partially enriched uranium into material for medical research.
The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency, Mohamed El Baradei, denied Friday that negotiations with Iran have fallen through, an agency spokesman told CNN.
"He is not ready to say it's over," the spokesman said, adding that the International Atomic Energy Agency has not received any written response from Iran.