World News

U.S. prepared to follow up on Iran fuel swap deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is ready to follow up with Iran on an abortive plan to provide fuel for a research reactor in Tehran in exchange for some of Iran’s low-enriched uranium, the State Department said on Wednesday.

“We obviously are fully prepared to follow up with Iran on specifics regarding our initial proposal involving the Tehran research reactor ... as well as, you know, the broader issues of trying to fully understand the nature of Iran’s nuclear program,” department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters.

“We hope to have the same kind of meeting coming up in the coming weeks that we had last October,” he added.

Senior diplomats from the five permanent U.N. Security Council members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- along with Germany met Iranian officials in Geneva in October to discuss a fuel swap.

Under the proposed deal, which ultimately came to nothing, Iran would have sent some of its low-enriched uranium to Russia and France for further purification into fuel for a reactor in Tehran that makes medical isotopes.

The six major powers fear that Iran is using its uranium enrichment program as a cover to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran denies any such plans.

Editing by Eric Beech