News / Middle East

Iran: Uranium Enrichment Swap Possible

Mottaki says Tehran not averse to exchanging low-enriched uranium for high-grade fuel to be used in a medical reactor

Lisa Schlein

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki insists his country is only interested in nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.  And, he says Tehran does not rule out a uranium enrichment swap with western powers.  Mottaki spoke to journalists in Geneva after addressing the UN Human Rights Council.

He says his country only wants to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes and that Tehran is not averse to exchanging some of its low-enriched uranium for higher-grade fuel that can be used in a reactor producing medical isotopes.

In fact, he notes the Americans established a nuclear reactor in Iran for producing medicines 50 years ago.  He says Iran is now using this same reactor to provide medicines for 850,000 patients.

He says Tehran has cooperated in working with the western powers on possibly handing over 3.5 percent low-enriched uranium in return for 20 percent of a higher-grade enriched uranium to be used in its reactor.  He speaks through an interpreter.

"We agreed on the swap of the low-enriched uranium [for] the 20 percent enriched uranium.  Because of that, we began and still are running and holding negotiations and talks with different parties.  And, if we have some points regarding the form of the swap and agreed on the form of the swap, the issue of swap is possible to be carried out," Mottaki said.

Iran and six western powers first discussed a deal to swap uranium last year.  The West saw such a deal as a way to ensure Tehran did not enrich uranium, which could be used to make nuclear weapons.

Soon after, Iran backtracked on the deal.  The United States is threatening to push for United Nations sanctions against the country unless Tehran relents.

Foreign Minister Mottaki says the agreement could be finalized now.  But, he notes the fulfillment and realization of the swap needs time because 20 percent enrichment is a long process.

He says Iran has always cooperated with the IAEA and will continue to do so.  He says there is no proof or reason to see what he calls diversion of Iran's peaceful nuclear activities.  He says there are no documents to dispute that.

The West continues to question Iran's nuclear ambitions. The U.N. nuclear agency's new chief, Yukiya Amano, said on Monday that it is impossible to verify whether Iran's nuclear program is peaceful because Tehran is not cooperating with the agency.

You May Like

Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving

Feasts centering on turkeys with an array of traditional sides and desserts are part of the holiday's traditions, which falls on the fourth Thursday in November More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid