Iran may send out nuclear fuel for processing, FM says


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Iran could agree to send some of its nuclear fuel out of the country for processing, its foreign minister said.

Manouchehr Mottaki said Monday that Iran could decide to either send some of its low-enriched uranium abroad for processing into fuel rods for a nuclear medical facility or buy it from other countries. 

"In order to obtain this fuel, we might spend money as in the past or we might present part of the fuel that we have right now, and currently do not need, for further processing," the official state news agency IRNA quoted him as saying.

Mottaki said Iran would make an announcement in a few days, ignoring the deadline of last Friday set by the International Atomic Energy Agency following negotiations in Vienna last week. The draft agreement would require Iran to transfer about 80 percent of its uranium to Russia for additional enrichment, and then to France to be made into fuel rods for cancer treatment.

Also Monday, Mottaki said Israel would not strike at Iran after the French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner in an interview with the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph suggested that Israel "will not tolerate an Iranian bomb" and that a deal with Iran could "stop this race to a confrontation."

"We regard the Zionist regime in the current era in its weakest position," Mottaki was quoted as saying by the semi-official ISNA news agency.

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