President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said 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 per cent (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 yesterday.
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 per cent 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.