World Bulletin/News Desk
Iran would negotiate on halting higher-grade uranium enrichment if given fuel for a research reactor, senior officials said, reviving a previous offer in a possible attempt to show flexibility in stalled nuclear talks with world powers.
The talks have made scant progress since resuming in April, leading to harsher Western sanctions against Iran and increasing talk of Israeli air strikes.
The Islamic Republic's economy is suffering from the tightened noose of sanctions, with the rial currency losing nearly two-thirds of its value to the dollar over the past year.
"If a guarantee is provided to supply the 20 percent (enriched) fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor, our officials are ready to enter talks about 20 percent enrichment," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said at a Eurasian media forum in Kazakhstan on Friday, according to Iran's Press TV.
Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel e arlier in the week: "If our right to enrichment is recognised, we are prepared to offer an exchange. We would voluntarily limit the extent of our enrichment program, but in return we would need a guaranteed supply of the relevant fuels from abroad."
Mehmanparast, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, spoke on the same day the European Union provisionally approved yet wider economic sanctions complementing U.S. plans for further financial penalties.
Mehmanparast said any flexibility shown by Iran should be matched by reciprocal measures from world powers, including full recognition of Iran's right to enrich uranium, according to Saturday's Press TV report.
At the heart of Iran's dispute with world powers is its insistence on the right to enrich uranium and that economic sanctions should be lifted before it stops activities that could lead to its achieving the capability to produce nuclear weapons.
The United States and European allies reject such conditions. They say Iran forfeited a right to enrich by having concealed sensitive nuclear work from U.N. inspectors and blocking their inquiry into suspected research.
World powers want Iran to stop 20 percent enrichment, shut down the Fordow underground centrifuge plant where this work is carried out and ship out its stockpile of this material.
Iran says it needs uranium enriched to a fissile purity of 20 percent for a medical research reactor in Tehran.
According to the latest International Atomic Energy Agency watchdog report, issued in August, Iran has a stockpile of 20 percent uranium of just over 90 kilograms (200 pounds).
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said the suspects' vehicle had been targeted and its three occupants were incinerated in the strike.
It said the decision to raise prices was within the cabinet's powers.
The visit comes after months of tension between Cairo and Riyadh
Projects will be carried out in places where terrorists had been eliminated by Turkey-led Operation Euphrates Shield
"We clearly announce that we have not and will not support any candidate in the upcoming elections," he said in a letter, signed by himself and his former deputy and presidential hopeful Hamid Baghaie.
Sinai has remained at the epicenter of a deadly militant insurgency since 2013
The official told AFP that two fighters were also wounded in the attack on the Al-Fawwar camp near Quneitra in southwestern Syria, adding that it was unclear whether the damage was inflicted by an air strike or shelling.
King Salman replaces cabinet members, US ambassador in reshuffle
Assad has said repeatedly that his forces turned over all chemical weapons stockpiles in 2013, under a deal brokered by Russia to avoid threatened US military action.
Some 150 Syrian families seek aid at Atma refugee camp near Turkish border
Dozens of opposition activists are either in jail or are facing trial for insulting the emir, including via social media.
Attack comes 'in response to rocket attacks from Syria'
Influential Guardian Council rejects former president’s application to compete in May 19 polls