Paris, 3 Oct. (IPS) Iran has proposed Tuesday to France to enrich uranium for Iran on Iranian soil, a dramatic effort to solve the three years-old nuclear crisis.
“We have a precise proposal. That France creates a consortium for enriching uranium in Iran”, Mohammad Sa’idi, Ian’s National Atomic Energy Organisation Deputy told radio France-Info. “That way France, through its Eurodif and Areva companies, can monitor our activities in a tangible fashion", said Mr. Sa’idi, a former nuclear negotiator.
"We have a precise proposal. That France creates a consortium for enriching uranium in Iran. That way France, through its Eurodif and Areva companies, can monitor our activities in a tangible fashion"
Areva, the world’s leading nuclear company is a French state-controlled firm with activities in several countries. Eurodif has a uranium enrichment plant in France built with the help of Iran before the Islamic revolution of 1979 for providing fuel for the nuclear plants Iran France and Germany were building in Iran. Neither company could be reached for comment early Tuesday.
Tehran says it has 50 tons of UF-6 gas, the feedstock for enrichment, in Eurodif's uranium enrichment plant in France but has not been allowed to use it.
Sa’di gave no other details of his proposal, and it was not clear when he made his comments to France-Info. But his comments appeared to be a new Iranian initiative for resolving the nuclear crisis at a time that leaked reports suggest Iran might be ready to halt enriching uranium because of growing problems with its atomic installations.
A similar proposal had been made by Moscow more than a year ago and welcomed by the United States and the European Troika made of France, Germany and Great Britain, with the difference that Russia was proposing to create the consortium in Russia, the country that is building Iran’s first nuclear electricity plant in the Persian Gulf city of Boushehr.
However, the delivery of the station to Iranians have been delayed for several years while the costs have climbed from an initial 600 US Dollars to near a billion, leading to a rain of critical articles in Iranian largely controlled press, after Mr. Qolamreza Aqazadeh, the IAEO’s boss, reveled in Moscow recently that the Russian concern in charge of the Boushehr plant was “bankrupt and inexperienced”.
In the absence of any official reaction from Paris, analysts said this latest Iranian proposal could help defusing the Iranian nuclear standoff, as France might, if it accepts the offer, to create the consortium with participation of other nuclear nations like the United States, Germany, Britain, Russia and China. ENDS NUCLEAR FRANCE 31006