Ali Asghar Soltanieh

Iran is prepared to end its 20 percent uranium enrichment if international sanctions against it are lifted, Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA said.

Mehr News Agency quoted Ali Asghar Soltanieh on Wednesday September 26 saying Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili made the offer once more to Catherine Ashton, EU foreign policy chief in their recent meeting in Istanbul on September 18.

Soltaneih reportedly said: “We are prepared to suspend enrichment to 20 percent, provided we find a reciprocal step compatible with it.”

He added: “We said this in Istanbul. If we do that there shouldn’t be sanctions."

The nuclear talks between Iran and the G5+1 have so far yielded no official results. Reports indicate that the world powers have called for a complete end to Iran’s uranium enrichment program.

Iran insists that it has a right to its nuclear program according to regulations in the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, maintaining that its nuclear activities are peaceful.

Iran claims that it has had to expand its uranium enrichment program because sanctions imposed against Iran keep it from accessing fuel for its nuclear reactor on the international market.

The EU and the United States have imposed widespread sanctions on Iran’s financial and oil sectors in recent months, and that has significantly reduced Iran’s ability to export oil and maneuver in the international market.