December 28, 2005

Iran sounds positive note on Russian atomic offer

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran said on Wednesday it would
"seriously and enthusiastically" study a Russian proposal aimed
at reducing international fears about its nuclear programme,
the ISNA students news agency reported.

The remarks by Javad Vaeedi, deputy head of Iran's Supreme
National Security Council, were the most positive yet by a
senior Tehran official about Moscow's offer to form a joint
venture with Iran to enrich uranium in Russia.

The Russian offer is backed by the United States and the
European Union.

The Russian plan is aimed at easing international concerns
that Tehran could make atom bombs from highly enriched uranium.
Iran says it only wants to enrich uranium to a low-grade,
suitable for use in nuclear power reactors.

The Russian proposal "will be reviewed seriously and
enthusiastically," Vaeedi told ISNA.

"In our opinion the Russian proposal could revive some of
the unimplemented regulations of the nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty for transferring nuclear technology to countries which
do not have access to this technology and break the scientific
monopoly of this issue," he said.