Iranian authorities report that while they are suspicious of recent overtures by the Obama administration about supporting low-grade uranium enrichment in Iran, they believe it would be an excellent step toward positive negotiations on the nuclear issue.
The Los Angeles Times recently reported that U.S. officials have said that if Iran agrees to close and widespread inspection of its nuclear facilities by international inspectors, the U.S. might agree to let Iran continue enriching uranium to the five-percent level.
Iran maintains that its uranium enrichment activities are aimed at making fuel for its nuclear reactors for power generation and medical purposes.
An unidentified Iranian Foreign Ministry official has told the L.A. Times that such a proposal by the G5+1 and the International Atomic Energy Agency will be “an excellent prologue” to the nuclear talks.
The Iranian official was quoted as saying that closing down the Fordoo Nuclear Facility is probably out of the question; however, uranium enrichment at the 20-percent level is open to negotiations.
The IAEA has reported that Iran has a 210-pound stockpile of 20-percent-enriched uranium. It has also produced six tons of five-percent-enriched uranium to date.
The Iranian official has said that the proposal will have to be approved by all the G5+1 states, which according to him is not easily done.
He added that the French representative at the Istanbul talks had acted “inappropriately” toward the Iranian delegation while the U.S. representatives were reportedly “very polite.”
Iranian nuclear negotiators met with the G5+1 representatives in Istanbul on April 14, and both sides announced that the meeting had been positive. They are to meet again in Baghdad in May to get into more detailed discussions about Iran’s nuclear program.
In the meantime, the U.S. and the European Union have imposed harsh sanctions on Iran’s oil exports and financial institutions to make the Islamic Republic negotiators more flexible in these talks.