MOSCOW, October 31 (RIA Novosti) - An influential Iranian lawmaker on Saturday criticized a plan that requires the country to send its nuclear fuel abroad for processing due to a lack of guarantees over its return.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), at an October 21 meeting in Vienna with Iran, France, Russia and the U.S., developed a package of proposals on nuclear fuel supplies for the Tehran reactor. Moscow, Paris and Washington said October 23 they approved the IAEA proposals.
"It is not reasonable to send all of Iran's 1,200 kilograms of low-enriched uranium (LEU) to foreign countries and expect they would provide the required nuclear fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor," Kazem Jalali, rapporteur of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, was quoted as saying.
IAEA initiatives envision that Iran's low-enriched uranium, produced at a nuclear enrichment facility in Natanz, will undergo further enrichment in Russia. France would later make fuel assemblies.
"There is no guarantee that the fuel will be retuned to Iran," he said.
France on Friday demanded Iran immediately provide an official response to a package of proposals on nuclear fuel supplies.
On Thursday, the UN nuclear watchdog said it "received an initial response from the Iranian authorities to [its] proposal to use Iran's low-enriched uranium for manufacturing fuel for the continued operation of the Tehran Research Reactor, which is devoted mainly to producing radioisotopes for medical purposes."
Iran was to respond to IAEA proposals last Friday, but delayed the step until the middle of this week. Earlier Iranian media said Tehran "in its final response expressed consent with the project's main provisions but introduced certain changes."
The leaders of 27 EU countries who concluded on Friday a two-day meeting in Brussels have called on Iran to adopt the UN nuclear watchdog's scheme.
The U.S. and other Western countries suspect Iran of working to create nuclear weapons but Iran says it needs nuclear power solely for civilian purposes.