News / Middle East

Iran Agrees 'In Principle' to Mediation in Nuclear Deal

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has agreed "in principle' to Brazilian mediation in a stalled United Nations-backed nuclear fuel swap deal.

A statement issued Wednesday by the Iranian president's office says Mr. Ahmadinejad spoke about Brazil's offer of mediation during a conversation with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday.

The U.N. deal calls for Tehran to send its uranium to Russia for enrichment.  It would then be sent to France, converted into fuel rods and sent back to Iran to power a nuclear reactor.

Iran has said it would only accept a fuel exchange on Iranian soil.

Brazil previously has called on the international community to show flexibility on the deal.

Separately, Mr. Ahmadinejad has told ABC news Iran will "definitely" continue its nuclear program in spite of a threat of military action from Israel.

In an interview that aired Wednesday, the Iranian leader also said that pressure or threats from other countries would not force Iran to change its position on its nuclear program.

The United States is leading a diplomatic push to get U.N. Security Council members to approve a fourth round of sanctions on Iran aimed at curbing its nuclear program.

The U.S. and its allies accuse Iran of secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons.  Iran says its atomic program is for peaceful purposes.

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

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