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Russian Official says Offer to Enrich Iranian Uranium Still Available


Russia's nuclear energy chief says a Russian proposal to ease the continuing standoff over Iran's nuclear program remains on the negotiating table.

Sergei Kiriyenko made his comments after talks Saturday with his Iranian counterpart in Tehran. The Russian official is on a three-day visit to Iran to push a plan to carry out uranium enrichment in Russia on behalf of Iran to ensure Tehran does not divert material for a weapons program.

The United States and Europe suspect that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. Earlier this month, the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, voted to report Iran's nuclear activities to the U.N. Security Council.

The Itar-Tass news agency quotes Kiriyenko as saying he was satisfied with how negotiations with Iranian atomic energy chief Gholamreza Aghazadeh are progressing. But he did not report an agreement.

Iran recently resumed the enrichment of uranium, but insists its nuclear intentions are peaceful.

China's vice foreign minister Lu Guozeng is to hold separate talks with Iranian officials in Tehran.

The talks come ahead of a March 6 meeting of the IAEA, which could result in Iran facing sanctions at the U.N. Security Council over its nuclear activities.

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