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31 Oct, 2009 11:50

Uncertainty remains over Iran’s uranium exchange plans

The plan to get Iran to ship its nuclear fuel abroad for enrichment has been dealt a blow by Tehran's lawmakers.

They have reportedly rejected the UN-backed proposals, which were hammered out in Vienna on October 21 along with Russia, France and the US. The plan would require Iran to send 70% of its low-enriched uranium to Russia in one batch by the end of the year.

Two days after the Vienna talks, Moscow, Paris and Washington declared their approval of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s plan; and on Thursday the IAEA said it got a “preliminary response” from Iran.

On Friday, however, Iranian news agency IRNA, quoting an unnamed governmental source, reported that Tehran’s message did not contain a response to the IAEA plan. The source says Iran will give its stance on the issue during further nuclear talks.

According to the Associated Press, a senior Iranian senior lawmaker has said he disapproves of the idea of shipping nuclear fuel to other countries, as there are no guarantees that Iran will get it back.

And on Saturday, AFP reported that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stated that it is difficult for his country to trust Western powers when it comes to negotiations.