IAEA Chief: Iran Fuel Swap Talks Could Start Soon

West Expressing Openness to Iran Talks

According to IAEA chief Amano Yukiya, additional talks regarding a potential third party enrichment deal with Iran could begin soon. He cited a recently willingness among Western nations to proceed with the talks.

Iran has been pushing for the talks in recent weeks, and despite the checkered history of the third party enrichment deal it seems the prospect is still open to completing it.

US officials have conceded that they angrily rejected the last deal, not so much because there was anything wrong with it, but because they thought it would hurt the push for sanctions in the UN. Now that those sanctions are in place, they are again willing to consider the deal.

The first talks came nearly a year ago, and ended in a draft agreement which the US embraced immediately, but moved slowly in debate in Iran. By the time Iran had decided to accept the deal, the US was rejecting it as “too late,” and stopped the deal.

The deal would have Iran sending a large portion of its uranium stockpile abroad to be enriched to 20 percent and turned into fuel rods for a medical reactor in Tehran, which produces isotopes for cancer treatment. Iran has been attempting to produce the 20 percent uranium itself, but says it will stop if they can complete a deal to secure a supply from abroad.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.