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Iran's foreign minister says officials will respond "within the next few days" to a U.N.-drafted proposal that would allow Russia to enrich uranium for an Iranian research reactor.
Iran's official news agency quoted Manouchehr Mottaki Monday as saying that his country may agree to ship some of its own uranium abroad for enriching, or it may choose to buy enriched uranium.
He said whichever option the government chooses, he said it also would continue to enrich its own uranium.
The U.S.-backed proposal to send Iran's uranium abroad is aimed at preventing Iran from enriching uranium to the point that it can be used for nuclear weapons.
Mottaki's comments come as U.N. inspectors visit Iranian nuclear facilities to determine if they are being used for peaceful purposes, as Iranian authorities insist.
Iranian media reported earlier that the inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency made their first visit to Iran's newly revealed uranium enrichment facility near Qom on Sunday.
Iran's semi-official news agency says the four-member team is expected to visit the plant several more times.
Iran's nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, says Iran is allowing U.N. inspectors to visit the facility to prove the country's "good will" and to reassure the world of what he called its "peaceful nuclear activities."
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.