WASHINGTON (JTA) — Iran reportedly turned down a U.S.-led offer to further enrich its uranium as part of a rapprochement.
Iran told the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, on Oct. 30 that it would not take the deal after initially agreeing to it earlier this month, The New York Times reported.
Under the plan, Iran would relinquish the bulk of the uranium it had enriched to low levels for further enrichment in Russia and then in France to medical research levels; it would then be returned. The process would take about eight months and would effectively delay any plans to further enrich the uranium to bomb-making levels for that amount of time.
In recent days, Iranian leaders have been divided on the matter, with some wanting to renege on the offer and others suggesting relinquishing a smaller portion of the uranium.
The Obama administration has made acceptance of the deal a condition of furthering talks aimed at averting punitive sanctions.