30 Oct 2009

Iran responds to IAEA nuclear proposal

4:04 pm on 30 October 2009

Iran has delivered a response to a proposal by the International Atomic Energy Agency to ease diplomatic tensions over its nuclear programme.

Under the plan, most of Iran's enriched uranium would be sent abroad to be turned into fuel rods for research use.

In a statement, IAEA director general Mohamed ElBaradei said he hoped that agreement "can be reached soon".

The BBC reports no details of Iran's reply have been issued. However, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said earlier that Iran was ready to co-operate with the proposal.

Iran says it is enriching uranium for domestic purposes, but western powers accuse it of developing nuclear weapons.

The IAEA has proposed exporting most of Iran's enriched uranium to Russia and France, where it would be converted into fuel before being returned to Iran.

The plan was agreed by the United States, Russia and France after talks in Vienna last week, but Iran missed a deadline to respond on Friday.