Iran Nuclear NewsKazakh yellowcake uranium transfer to Iran would be illegal

Kazakh yellowcake uranium transfer to Iran would be illegal

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ImageAFP: The United States has warned that any potential transfer of yellowcake uranium to Iran would violate UN Security Council sanctions. ImageWASHINGTON (AFP) — The United States has warned that any potential transfer of yellowcake uranium to Iran would violate UN Security Council sanctions.

"The transfer of uranium to Iran is prohibited, unless the uranium in question is low enriched and the uranium is incorporated in assembled nuclear fuel elements for use in light water reactors (LWRs)," State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said Tuesday responding to what he said were "press queries about reports that Iran is in negotiations with an entity in Kazakhstan for uranium."

"Consequently, the transfer of any uranium yellowcake — which would not qualify for this exemption — to Iran would constitute a clear violation of UNSC sanctions," Kelly warned.

"Full implementation of existing (UN) sanctions is a vital aspect of the international community's efforts to prevent Iran's acquisition of a nuclear weapons capability through diplomacy," Kelly added.

President Barack Obama's administration earlier this week signaled that time was running out for Iran to take up its offer of diplomatic engagement for resolving nuclear and other issues.

"As we have said many times, the president has stressed that we and our partners will be assessing Iran's responsiveness here as we approach the end of the year," said State Department spokesman Philip Crowley.

He warned that, "come 2010, should Iran continue in its current posture… there will be implications and consequences for their failure to take advantage of this opportunity."

The United States and France have repeatedly urged Tehran to accept a UN nuclear watchdog-drafted deal to swap enriched uranium for nuclear fuel by the end of the year or face the threat of further sanctions.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said that the so-called P5+1, which groups UN Security Council veto-wielding permanent members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany, were all on board with the deadline.

Iran has rejected the US-backed IAEA proposal to ship low-grade nuclear fuel abroad so it can be further enriched and returned to refuel a Tehran medical research reactor.

But Ahmadinejad told AFP in an interview earlier this month that Iran was ready to strike a uranium enrichment deal if the United States and the West respected the Islamic Republic and stopped making threats.

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