Iran rejects uranium swap deadline


(JTA) — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rejected a year-end deadline to accept a deal to trade low-grade enriched uranium for nuclear fuel.

Ahmadinejad rejected the United States-imposed deadline on the United Nations-brokered deal Tuesday during an appearance in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz that was broadcast on state television, according to reports.

"The West can give Iran as many deadlines as they want, we don’t care," Ahmadinejad reportedly said. "They say we have given Iran until the end of the Christian year. Who are they anyway? It is we who have given them an opportunity."

Iran has said its nuclear program is strictly for civilian purposes, though Western governments believe Iran is close to building a nuclear weapon.

In November, Iran also rejected a plan brokered by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the nuclear watchdog of the United Nations, in which the Islamic Republic would send its low-enriched uranium to Russia and France in order to be converted into nuclear fuel to be used for medical purposes.

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