The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has drafted an agreement to supply enriched uranium to Iran following three days of negotiations at its headquarters in Vienna. If all parties agree to it, the deal could mark a breakthrough after a years-long international standoff over Iran's nuclear program.
The draft agreement was announced to reporters by the International Atomic Energy Agency's chief Mohamed ElBaradei, who has given all parties involved until Friday to approve it.
"I have circulated a draft agreement that reflects, in my judgment, a balanced approach on how to move forward," he said. "The deadline for the parties to give, I hope, affirmative action is Friday, two days from now. And if we do get affirmative action, then I hope that we will have an agreement that we can send to the (IAEA) board of governors."
ElBaradei said France was included in the draft agreement. Talks this week gathering Russia, the United States, France, Iran and the IAEA, stalled on Tuesday over Iran's reluctance to have France participate in any deal on enriching its uranium. ElBaradei however described the discussions as constructive and forward-looking.
The IAEA chief did not elaborate on the draft deal, but news agencies report that it is essentially similar to an agreement reached in Geneva earlier this month. That deal would commit Iran to shipping about 75 percent of its lightly enriched stockpile of uranium to Russia for further enrichment.
The material would then be shipped to France to be converted into metal rods before being delivered back to Tehran. The rods would be used to power a research reactor in the Iranian capital making medical isotopes.
More broadly, if all parties agree to the deal, it would defuse international concerns about Iran's nuclear program. Iran says the program is for peaceful purposes , but western nations fear Tehran is trying to build a nuclear bomb.