Outgoing International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohamed ElBaradei today urged the Iranian government to endorse the third party draft enrichment deal exactly as it is currently structured, cautioning that proposals which kept the uranium in Iranian territory would not be acceptable.
The comments seem to have been direct at those made by Iranian Foreign Minister Manochehr Mottaki, that Iran would not accept any deal which required it to send its 3.5 percent enriched uranium out of the country.
At the same time, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisted today that Iran was not opposed in principle to sending its uranium abroad, and other officials have given indications that a deal which provided some sort of guarantee was all that was necessary.
ElBaradei mentioned a counter-proposal to put Iran’s low enriched uranium on an island in the Persian Gulf, still technically on Iranian soil but under IAEA control and in practice inaccessible to the rest of its civilian nuclear program. Still, ElBaradei says this deal would not be acceptable to Western nations.
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