Thursday, October 29, 2009

Iran Hints at Cooperation on U.N. Nuclear Deal

After days of uncertain signals, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hinted Thursday that Iran would accept a United Nations-sponsored plan to send the country’s uranium abroad for processing, saying “we welcome cooperation on nuclear fuel, power plants, and technology, and we are ready to cooperate.”

Mr. Ahmadinejad’s comments, broadcast on state television, came as Iran prepared to deliver a formal response to the plan, which was designed to bridge the gap between Iran’s insistence that its nuclear program is for civilian purposes and the West’s suspicion that it is building a bomb.

Iran’s state-run Al Alam Arabic-language television station reported Thursday that Tehran had delivered its formal response to the proposal to the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. But officials there said they could not immediately confirm the report. Earlier this week, Iran said it would respond to the plan by Friday.

.......Mr. Ahmadinejad’s comments put a more positive spin on the plan than he has in the past. “Fortunately, the conditions for international nuclear cooperation have been met,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said. "We are currently moving in the right direction and we have no fear of legal cooperation, under which all of Iran’s national rights will be preserved, and we will continue our work."

He also insisted, as he often has, that Iran would not retreat from its rights to nuclear power..."

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