Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Iran Welcomes Russia's Offer to Enrich Uranium Jointly; Details Remain


MOSCOW, Jan. 25 —
Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, said here on Wednesday that he welcomed a Russian proposal to defuse the confrontation between Iran and the West over its nuclear programs by establishing a joint venture to enrich uranium in Russia. But he indicated that no agreement had been reached and that significant details remained to be negotiated.

"Our attitude to the proposal is positive," Mr. Larijani, the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, said after meeting with his Russian counterpart, Igor S. Ivanov, Russian news agencies reported. "We tried to bring the positions of the two sides closer."

At the same time, he warned that Iran would begin enriching uranium on an industrial scale if its nuclear program was referred to the United Nations Security Council. His remarks came a day after Mr. Larijani and Mr. Ivanov said the confrontation should be resolved at the International Atomic Energy Agency, whose governors are scheduled to meet next week.

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