Japan has offered to provide Iran with enriched uranium to ease international concerns over the Islamic Republic's controversial nuclear program, the Japanese Nikkei daily reported on Wednesday.
The Iranian authorities have not responded to the proposal, the paper said, adding that the issue was expected to be discussed during a meeting of Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada and Iranian parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, who is currently on a visit to Japan.
Iran's recent move to begin enriching uranium to 20% sparked a new wave of international criticism. Western powers suspect that the Islamic Republic's nuclear program is aimed at making weapons, while Iran claims it needs enriched uranium for civilian purposes.
U.S. President Barack Obama said earlier in February that Washington and its allies would begin developing "significant" new sanctions against Tehran.
Iran has already rejected an IAEA plan under which the Islamic Republic was to ship out its low-enriched uranium to Russia for further enrichment and subsequently send it to France for processing into fuel rods.
Tehran has suggested it could consider a swap of its low-enriched uranium for 20%-enriched uranium, but that the exchange should be simultaneous and would have to take place on its own territory.
The fuel is required for a reactor in Tehran that is used to make medical isotopes, and Iran justified its move to produce the 20%-enriched uranium by saying it could not wait for an international deal on enrichment to be reached.
TOKYO, February 24 (RIA Novosti)