Diplomats at the International Atomic Energy Agency say the agency is considering offering Iran a guaranteed supply of nuclear fuel to facilitate European talks with Tehran on suspending its uranium enrichment efforts.
Western diplomats say the IAEA is hoping to break the deadlock with Iran on uranium enrichment. The IAEA has called on Iran to give up its uranium enrichment program, amid suspicions about the nature of Tehran's nuclear ambitions.
Iran says its program is purely peaceful to generate electricity, but the United States believes the scope of nuclear activities and the secrecy surrounding their development is evidence of a weapons program.
Britain, France and Germany will continue negotiations with Iran next week in Paris on a proposed deal, which would give Tehran nuclear technology, if it gives up uranium enrichment.
Gary Samore of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and a one-time security advisor to former President Clinton, says Iran does not need an enrichment capability, because it could buy the fuel it needs.
"In the case of Iran, there's no plausible economic or technical reason why Iran needs to produce its own nuclear power reactor fuel, because it's much easier and cheaper to buy fuel for their one power reactor," he said. "And, that's what most countries do. They [Iran] have a small nuclear program. It's just much easier and cheaper to buy fuel, or enrichment services on the open market."
Mr. Samore says there are many suppliers that could guarantee this.
If Iran fails to satisfy the IAEA Board of Governors by the end of November that its program is peaceful, the file could go to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.