AFP: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday that he sees "no problem" in delivering Iran's low-enriched uranium (LEU) to Western powers to be converted into nuclear fuel for Tehran research reactor. TEHRAN (AFP) — President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday that he sees "no problem" in delivering Iran's low-enriched uranium (LEU) to Western powers to be converted into nuclear fuel for Tehran research reactor.
"There is really no problem. Some made a fuss for nothing. There is no problem. We sign a contract. We give them 3.5 percent (enriched uranium) and it will take four or five months for them to give us the 20 percent (enriched uranium)," Ahmadinejad said in an interview broadcast live on state television.
His latest remarks, contrary to his own several statements in the past and the stance taken by Iranian officials, come at a time when Tehran is in a deadlock with Western powers over a UN-brokered nuclear fuel deal for the research reactor.
Iranian officials have rejected the deal which envisages Tehran transporting the bulk of its LEU to Russia and France in one go.
Iranian officials claim they would prefer a gradual exchange of the LEU in return for the 20 percent enriched uranium which can be used as the fuel for a reactor.
On January 30 foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki said "new ideas" on the supply of nuclear fuel to Iran were raised in talks with French and Brazilian officials in Davos.
Ahmadinejad himself on several occassions in the past has vowed that if Western powers do not accept Iran's argument over the UN-brokered nuclear fuel deal, Tehran would enrich its LEU to the 20 percent level and use it to power the reactor.
On Tuesday, Ahmadinejad did not say how much LEU Iran would be ready to ship out given the fact that the UN-drafted deal talks of taking out 70 percent of Tehran's LEU stock.
Western powers do not want Iran to engage in uranium enrichment as the material can be used to power reactors or to make atom bomb.
Iran says its uranium enrichment programme is purely for peaceful purposes.