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Top Iran officials question UN-brokered nuclear deal

Top Iranian figures criticised today a UN-brokered deal to produce nuclear fuel for Tehran from its own partly enriched uranium, apparently contradicting what President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad himself had proposed.

world Updated: Oct 24, 2009 22:15 IST

Top Iranian figures criticised today a UN-brokered deal to produce nuclear fuel for Tehran from its own partly enriched uranium, apparently contradicting what President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad himself had proposed.

Parliament speaker Ali Larijani said Western powers were trying to "cheat" Iran through the deal, under which
Tehran would export low-enriched uranium (LEU) to be further enriched and converted into nuclear fuel for a reactor in
Tehran.

"Westerners are insisting to go in a direction that speaks of cheating and are imposing some things on us,"
Larijani told ISNA news agency.

"They are saying we will give you the 20 per cent (enriched uranium) fuel for the Tehran reactor only if you
give us your enriched uranium. I see no link between these two things."

But that is essentially what Ahmadinejad himself proposed on September 30.

"We need 19.75 per cent-enriched uranium. We said that, and we propose to buy it from anybody who is ready to
sell it to us. We are ready to give 3.5 percent-enriched uranium and then they can enrich it more and deliver to us
19.75 per cent-enriched uranium," the president said.

Ahmadinejad was speaking just ahead of an October 1 meeting in Geneva at which the proposal was apparently put on
the table, and which drew a positive reaction from Russia and France.