PARIS (AFP) – The six world powers involved in negotiations with Iran are united on the need to update an offer to send some of Tehran’s uranium overseas for enrichment, France’s foreign ministry said Friday.
“There is no disagreement among the six (Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia the United States) on the need to update the offer made to Iran in the autumn of 2009 and there is also no disagreement on the principle and parameters of this update,” the ministry said.
The six nations proposed last year that Iran transfer 1,200 kilos (roughly 2,600 pounds) of its low-enriched uranium to Russia and then to France for further enrichment for a Tehran research reactor.
Iran has since increased its stock of uranium and the six are now working on an updated offer, according to Paris.
“This is about a mechanical update, because the centrifuges continue to turn. It’s a simple, mathematical question,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Christine Fages said at a press briefing.
The New York Times recently reported the six wanted Iran to transfer 2,000 kilos of its uranium abroad for enrichment and not just 1,200 kilos.
On Thursday, France’s Le Monde newspaper reported that the US would propose that as well as 1,200 kilos for its Tehran reactor, Iran send another 2,000 kilos to Russia for its Russian-built Bushehr reactor.
London and Paris oppose the idea, Le Monde reported, as it risked legitimizing Iran’s uranium enrichment activities.
Paris and Washington have neither confirmed nor denied the existence of the reported proposal linked to Bushehr or the alleged disagreements.
Western nations fear Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon, while Tehran insists its program is for purely peaceful purposes.
Various UN resolutions and sanctions have been put in place to halt Iran’s uranium enrichment activities, so far little effect.