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Ahmadinejad: Iran Ready to Send Enriched Uranium Abroad


A U.N.-backed deal calls for Iran to give 70 percent of its low-enriched uranium to France and Russia, in return for fuel for a nuclear research reactor in Tehran

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says his country is ready to send uranium abroad for further enrichment, in accordance with a U.N.-backed plan.

Mr. Ahmadinejad told state television Tuesday that Iran has "no problem" sending low-enriched uranium abroad and getting it back several months later, when it is enriched to 20 percent capacity. He offered no timetable.

In response to Mr. Ahmadinejad's remarks, the White House urged Iran to inform the International Atomic Energy Agency if it is ready to send low-enriched uranium abroad. Spokesman Mike Hammer said the U.S. has made a "good faith and balanced offer" to Iran that would power its nuclear research reactor.

The U.N.-backed deal calls for Iran to give 70 percent of its low-enriched uranium to France and Russia, in return for fuel for a nuclear research reactor in Tehran.

Iran has been reluctant to accept the deal, saying it may not get all of its uranium back. It has proposed buying fuel from the West or exchanging smaller quantities of uranium for fuel rods.

Highly enriched uranium can be used to power nuclear reactors or to make atomic weapons.

Iran has ignored three sets of U.N. Security Council resolutions calling on it to stop enriching uranium. Tehran says its nuclear program is aimed at producing electricity.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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