JERUSALEM (JTA) — Iran says it is ready to hand over its enriched uranium in exchange for fuel rods to power a medical research reactor.
The exchange must take place on Iranian territory, the Islamic Republic said in a confidential letter, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.
The condition would likely be rejected by the United States and other world powers, which want to get the nuclear material out of Iran to prevent it from stockpiling enough to power a nuclear weapon. Iran says its nuclear program is strictly for civilian use.
"In order to bring about a constructive interaction, we have declared our readiness for fuel swap, provided it is done within the country [Iran]," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said, according to Reuters. "We are prepared for a fuel swap even though we do not regard this condition of supplying fuel to the Tehran research reactor through a swap as correct."
The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, brokered a deal six months ago that would have seen Iran exporting the majority of its low-enriched uranium to be further enriched and made into fuel rods in two European countries.