Iran shows good will by offering to buy nuclear fuel

While nuclear negotiations between Iran and the West have yet to yield a final result, a senior Iranian lawmaker says Tehran’s choice to buy its required high-enriched uranium is a sign of ‘good will’.

Speaking to Iran’s Student News Agency (ISNA) on Saturday, Rapporteur of the Parliament (Majlis) National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Kazem Jalali said while Iran is capable of producing its needed uranium enriched to a level of 20 percent, Tehran has put forward a request to buy the needed fuel.

“Given that Iran is capable of enriching uranium to a level more than 5 percent inside the country, it could well take a step to produce the fuel for its Tehran [research] reactor,” Jalali said.

However, he explained, Iran views an option to buy the fuel as the best choice for obtaining its required nuclear fuel.

“As we have mentioned in a letter to the [International Atomic Energy] Agency (IAEA) we want to buy the fuel from countries that possess nuclear fuel,” the Iranian official said, adding that “This request is a sign of Iran’s good will.”

The remarks come after Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki made an official statement on Wednesday about a proposal put forward to the Tehran government by major powers in Geneva on October 19. The proposal suggests that Iran sends the bulk of its low-enriched uranium (LEU) stockpile out of the country in exchange for metal fuel rods for its Tehran medical research reactor.

Iran has said that it would accept the essential elements of the international proposal but has also sought modifications to the formula.

Mottaki explained Iran’s stance on the proposal, saying that the country’s enriched uranium supply will not be sent out of its borders in exchange for fuel rods fitted for the Tehran medical reactor.

Arguing that a guarantee for the fuel supply is the core concern for Tehran, the Iranian minister said while the Islamic Republic’s first option is to domestically enrich uranium to a level of 20 percent, its second option would be to buy the 20-percent-enriched uranium.

He added that the Tehran government would also consider an option to exchange, in a simultaneous swap, the agreed amount of its LEU with its needed fuel on its own territory.

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