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

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid