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Archive for Thursday, October 22, 2009

Envoy backs uranium deal, but will Tehran?

October 22, 2009

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— A top Iranian negotiator praised a plan Wednesday that would ship most of his country’s uranium abroad for enrichment and limit its ability to build a nuclear weapon. There was no guarantee, however, that Tehran’s leaders would accept the idea.

In seven years of back-and-forth diplomatic wrangling, Iran has appeared to accept previous proposals meant to ease fears it might be seeking weapons capability — only to later reject those same proposals. The West says that has given the country time to build its civilian nuclear program and its capacity to generate fissile warhead material.

At the end of three days of talks, International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei said representatives of Iran and its three interlocutors — the U.S., Russia and France — had accepted his draft agreement for forwarding to their capitals.

ElBaradei said he hoped for approval from all four countries by Friday, adding: “I cross my fingers.”

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