Speaking today on Iranian television, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran had “no problem” with the third party enrichment deal’s terms, and that the nation was willing to send its uranium abroad for further enrichment.
“There is really no problem,” Ahmadinejad insisted. “Some made a fuss for nothing. There is no problem. We sign a contract. We give them 3.5 percent and it will take four or five months for them to give us the 20 percent.”
The draft agreement reached in October had been at a deadlock for months as the Iranian government debated over the wisdom of turning so much of its uranium over to France on the assumption they would eventually get it back. Ahmadinejad insisted that even if France reneged on the deal they would just enrich more.
But the US State Department was dismissive of the comments, saying that it was long past time for Iran to “give us a definitive answer” on the draft deal, and insisting that today’s comments were not technically a response.
Western officials were also looking for wiggle room in Ahmadinejad’s “four to five months” timeframe, insisting that the project could actually take years. The IAEA has yet to comment on the offer.