JERUSALEM (JTA) — Iran has denied a report that it is planning to import 1,350 tons of purified uranium ore from Kazakhstan.
The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the two countries were close to a deal. Both countries refuted the report on Wednesday, according to reports.
The ore, which reportedly would cost $450 million, is necessary to keep the Islamic Republic’s uranium enrichment program going.
"Such fabrications of news are part of the psychological warfare to serve the political interests of the hegemonic powers," Iran’s representative at the United Nations said in a statement faxed to Reuters.
Iran claims its nuclear program is for domestic use only; much of the world believes it is working to build a nuclear weapon.
The AP said it learned of the deal, which reportedly is nearing completion, in an intelligence report provided to the AP by an undisclosed member nation of the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Meanwhile, Iran on Tuesday rejected the end-of-the-year deadline set by six world powers – the United States, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany — to agree to an IAEA-brokered uranium enrichment deal that would have Iran sending its low-enriched uranium to France or Germany for further enrichment.
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters Tuesday that Iran would be willing to buy processed uranium, exchange its low-enriched uranium for processed uranium on Iranian soil or produce it itself.
World powers and the IAEA have rejected the proposal to exchange the processed uranium on Iranian soil.