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Iran to Give Up Uranium in Return for Keeping Nuclear Technology - 2003-10-20


Iranian President Mohamed Khatami suggests his country will give up enriched uranium in exchange for what he says is Iran's right to nuclear technology. Iran's talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency, according to reports from Tehran, have led to an agreement by Iran to accept stricter inspections of the country's nuclear sites.

Iranian president Mohamed Khatami has indicated his country would give up enriched uranium if it meant Iran would maintain nuclear technology.

Responding to a reporter's question about whether Iran would be willing to dispose of its enriched-uranium program, Mr. Khatami said Iran will do whatever is in its power to solve the difficulties and, in exchange, it expects to retain its right to nuclear technology. His remarks were aired on the Arabic television channel, Al-Jazeera.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has given Iran until the end of October to prove it is not developing nuclear weapons. The U.N. nuclear monitoring agency has asked Iran to agree to tougher inspections of its nuclear sites and to stop developing enriched uranium.

Iran says it needs enriched uranium for a peaceful nuclear program aimed at producing energy.

The United States has charged Iran has a secret program to develop nuclear weapons, which Tehran denies.

Reports out of Tehran say that talks between Iranian officials and members of a visiting IAEA team have led to an understanding, that could pave the way for Iran's acceptance of stricter international inspections of its nuclear facilities.

In a related development, Iranian officials say they are awaiting the arrival in Tehran of the foreign ministers of France, Germany, and Britain.

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