Iran open to future nuclear talks

Nov. 22, 2009 at 10:21 AM
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TEHRAN, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Iran is open to future negotiations on obtaining access to medical-grade uranium, but will produce its own if necessary, the nation's nuclear envoy said.

Iran last week rejected a deal brokered by the International Atomic Energy Agency to send low-enriched uranium overseas to be turned into fuel for a medical research reactor in Tehran.

Iranian officials, however, are willing to work with the IAEA to explore other ways for Iran to obtain medical isotopes, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's nuclear envoy, told Der Spiegel in an interview released Saturday.

Tehran does remain opposed to letting Turkey temporarily store Iran's enriched uranium unless Iran is guaranteed nuclear fuel in exchange, the Iranian Labor News Agency quoted Soltanieh as saying.

"We have enough reasons to distrust the west because of their behavior in the past 30 years," Soltanieh said, adding Iran would produce its own medical-grade uranium if a deal cannot be reached.

The United States and its allies supported the initial IAEA plan as a way to delay Iran's potential ability to make nuclear weapons by divesting Iran of much of its enriched uranium. Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

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