Iran yet to respond to uranium deal

Iran has not responded to the proposed uranium deal but is ready for further talks. Besides, the country is posing new conditions, according to the Iranian state news agency IRNA.

The agency has quoted the unnamed Iranian official as saying that “Iran only showed its positive attitude toward negotiations,” adding that Iran will give its view on the plan in further talks.

He added that in a message sent to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran on Thursday has not indicated whether it agrees with the plan or not.

Although details of the message have yet to be made public, some European officials have already expressed their dissatisfaction with the delay.

A French Foreign Ministry spokesperson has urged Iran to “give a formal and positive response to the (IAEA), without delay.”

Bernard Valero said on Friday that the proposed uranium agreement, in which France is directly involved, would “respond to Iran's need for the production of radioisotopes for medical use and would be a useful confidence-building measure” for the international community.

Meanwhile, IRNA also announced that Iran insists that smaller batches of its low-enriched uranium are exchanged for nuclear fuel produced outside of the country.

The agreement proposed by the International Atomic Energy Agency suggests that most of Iran’s low-enriched uranium should be taken out of the country to be enriched and turned into fuel rods. The whole process could take up to a year.

International media is speculating on counter-proposals from Iran. The Washington Post has questioned the next move for President Barack Obama, but says the West's plans have prompted serious debate in the Islamic Republic.

British newspapers reported Iran's response as contradicting the draft agreement hammered out last week in Vienna.

Vladimir Onishchenko works for the Iran news agency in Moscow and says there is a considerable opposition to the UN-backed deal in Tehran.

“Back in Iran, the authorities have held talks with the opposition, including former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, and the liberal, pro-Western Mousavi replied that if President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad agreed to ship all the nuclear fuel abroad, it would be treason,” Onishchenko said. “Iran has taken a wise move to calm down the opposition and meet Western concerns. It will ship the uranium out, but only in batches.”