And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, (Revelation 13:13)
President Obama 'orders Pakistan drone attacks' - Times Online
Ahoy, pirates! U.S. drones are after you
Key Iran nuclear deal unravelling
Friday, 23 October 2009
The deal would see Iran exporting its uranium for enrichment
A key deal between Iran and Western powers on its nuclear programme appears to be unravelling, as a deadline looms.
Iranian TV reported that Iran would prefer to buy uranium for its research reactor, rather than send its own stock abroad for enrichment as proposed.
France said Iran was not responding positively to the deal from the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The draft deal, agreed by the US, France and Russia, was prompted by concern over Iran's nuclear programme.
The IAEA, a UN agency, had suggested exporting most of Iran's enriched uranium to Russia and France for further refining.
Under the deal, Iran would get the fuel it needs for its research reactor in Tehran, but would not have enough uranium to make a bomb.
The plan followed talks between the UN, Iran, France, Russia and the US.
The other countries approved it, and Friday was set as the deadline for a response from Iran.
There has been no final official response from Iran, but a report on Iranian TV quoted a member of Iran's negotiating team saying: "Iran is interested in buying fuel for the Tehran research reactor within the framework of a clear proposal... we are waiting for the other party's constructive and trust-building response."
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said, according to the Lebanese National News Agency: "I cannot say that the situation regarding Iran is very positive.
"Now, meetings are being held in Vienna (the IAEA headquarters). But via the indications we are receiving, matters are not very positive."
Iran's rejection of the deal would come as a disappointment to the US, Russia and France, and it could make the wider negotiation with Iran much more difficult - and the threat of sanctions more likely, says the BBC's Bethany Bell in Vienna.
Enrichment in Russia
Russian nuclear industry insiders have told the BBC the proposed process would involve Iran sending its uranium to the IAEA, which would forward it to Russia for enriching.
The enriched uranium would then be returned to the IAEA and sent to France, which has the technology to add the "cell elements" needed for Iran's reactor, they said.
This process would enable Iran to obtain enough enriched uranium for its research reactor and for medical use, but not enough to produce a weapon.
Exporting uranium has been seen as a way for Iran to get the fuel it needs, while giving guarantees to the West that it will not be used for nuclear weapons.
Iran insists its nuclear programme is solely for peaceful purposes and that it has the right to enrich uranium.