Iran says ready to halt 20% enrichment if it receives n-fuel

Iran is ready to suspend its controversial enrichment of uranium to 20 percent if Europe guarantees delivery of nuclear fuel for its reactors, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on his official website.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has always said that, if the European countries give Iran 20 percent (enriched uranium) fuel, Iran will not carry out enrichment to that level," he was quoted as saying in a text on the website published late Sunday.

"Even today, if they give us the guarantee that they will supply 20 percent fuel for our reactors, there will be no problem" in stopping enrichment to 20 percent, he added.

The president's website said Ahmadinejad made the comments in an interview with the Germany newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine, even though the remarks were not in the online version of the interview ( published on Saturday.

Iran's 20 percent uranium enrichment is the priority issue in two days of talks that got underway on Monday in Moscow between officials from the Islamic republic and world powers.

Even though Iran insists its nuclear programme is peaceful, the P5+1 group of nations engaging it -- the United States, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia -- suspect parts of it include research towards developing atomic weapons.

The UN Security Council has issued six resolutions demanding Iran suspend all uranium enrichment.

Iran insists that enrichment is its right under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and that, even if it is ready to negotiate on 20 percent enrichment if given adequate incentives, lower-level enrichment will continue.

Source: AFP

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