London, Feb. 3 (ANI): Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that he is ready to accept a deal with Western countries that requites Tehran to send its uranium abroad for further enrichment in exchange for nuclear fuel.
Announcing the decision in an interview with state Iranian television, Ahmadinejad said Iran would have "no problem" giving the West its low-enriched uranium and taking it back several months later when it is enriched by 20 per cent.
"If we allow them to take it, there is no problem. We sign a contract to give 3.5 per cent enriched uranium and receive 20 per cent enriched one after four or five months," The Telegraph quoted Ahmadinejad, as saying.
In response to the major shift in the Iranian position, the United States said it was ready to listen if Iran was proposing the end of a deadlock over its disputed nuclear program.
While it is for the first time that Iran is willing to ship out its enriched uranium, it was unclear how much of a concession his comments represented.
Ahmadinejad's time frame of four or five months to keep uranium out of country appeared to fall short of the year that western officials say it would take for Iran's enriched fuel to be turned into fuel rods for the reactor.
The difference could allow Iranian officials to assert that the deal failed due to Western foot-dragging, despite their readiness to accept the proposed formula of shipping out the bulk of their enriched uranium.
Ahmadinejad also did not address whether his country was ready to ship out most of its stockpile in one batch, which is also a condition set by the six world powers.
If Iran were to agree to export most of its enriched uranium in one shipment, it would delay its ability to make a nuclear weapon by stripping it of the material it needs to make the fissile core of a warhead.
Experts believe it would need at least a year to replenish its stockpile at its present rate of uranium enrichment. (ANI)