Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Abbas Araghchi, Iranian deputy foreign minister

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

FOCUS

When water becomes a weapon of war

Read more

ENCORE!

Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Ed Husain, Author of 'The Islamist'

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put to the test

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put to the test (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Pakistan: Imran Khan, from the cricket field to politics

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

Read more

  • Trust and 'bio-disaster units' needed to fight Ebola

    Read more

  • Video: Bodies ‘left behind’ as Ukraine forces flee rebel assault

    Read more

  • Julie Gayet wins privacy case against French glossy Closer

    Read more

  • NATO plans new 'spearhead' force to counter Russia

    Read more

  • French clubs left behind as others spend big

    Read more

  • Britain drops arrest warrant for ill boy’s parents

    Read more

  • When water becomes a weapon of war

    Read more

  • Arab media strike back at IS Islamists – with cartoons

    Read more

  • US military targets Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group

    Read more

  • Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

    Read more

  • Boko Haram Islamists seize northeast Nigerian town

    Read more

  • Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao leaves Ligue 1 for Man Utd

    Read more

  • UN backs Iraqi request for inquiry into IS militant crimes

    Read more

  • French education ministry picture sparks racist abuse

    Read more

  • Obama calls for higher wages amid 'revving' US economy

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine’s children return to school as fighting rages on

    Read more

  • Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

    Read more

  • US urges Israel to reverse West Bank land seizure

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Iran signals readiness to cooperate with IAEA

Video by Rebecca BOWRING

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-10-29

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is expected to deliver a qualified "yes" in response to proposals drawn up by the UN-backed IAEA on nuclear cooperation.

The UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), on Thursday said it had received an "initial" response from Iran to a UN-brokered plan to supply nuclear fuel to a research reactor in Tehran.

“(IAEA) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei has received an initial response from the Iranian authorities to his 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," the watchdog said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s announced that “conditions are ready” for a nuclear deal with the West, in words that contrasted starkly with his previous hard-line stance. His words seem to indicate that Iran will deliver a qualified “yes” in response to proposals drawn up by the IAEA on nuclear cooperation.

"We welcome fuel exchange, nuclear cooperation, building of power plants and reactors, and we are ready to cooperate," the president said in a speech in Iran's second city of Mashhad broadcast live on state television Thursday.

He said the provision of fuel for a Tehran research reactor was an opportunity for Iran to evaluate the "honesty" of world powers and the U.N. nuclear agency watchdog, “[The West] has previously talked of halting and suspending everything, but now they are talking about fuel exchange, nuclear cooperation, building nuclear power plants and reactors. They have moved from confrontation to cooperation”, declared Ahmadinejad.

Analysis: "Ahmadinejad wants to depict this shift as a victory rather than a retreat"

“This declaration is intended to take the sting out of US-Iran relations. Ahmadinejad’s tone is much more conciliatory” explains FRANCE 24’s international affairs editor Robert Parsons. “There’s no question that it looks like a step in the right direction, although there are still a great many ‘ifs’”, he added.

What is Teheran’s agenda?

Iran is shortly expected to present its formal response to a nuclear fuel deal which proposes that Iran ship 75% of its known stock of 1,5 tonnes of enriched uranium abroad, which would be returned in the form of processed fuel bars for use in an Iranian research reactor. Iranian media say the Islamic Republic will accept the framework of the deal, but demand changes to it.

One of the Iran’s expected amendments would involve sending its enriched uranium abroad in several, carefully spaced out stages, which may be problematic for western negotiators. “Some nuclear specialists fear that if Iran exports its enriched uranium little by little, it gives them time to rebuild a stock large enough to use for military purposes”, Le Figaro’s Middle East Correspondent Delphine Minoui told FRANCE 24.

“It will be interesting to see how western powers respond to Iran’s new tone and proposed amendments”, LA Times Middle East Correspondent Borzou Daraghi told FRANCE 24. Iran’s apparent new openness “may in fact be aiming to create divisions between Russia, China and other Security Council members in order to pursue its own agenda – which has been Iran’s strategy all along”, he added.
 

Date created : 2009-10-29

  • NUCLEAR - IRAN

    World awaits Tehran's answer on uranium deal

    Read more

  • IRAN NUCLEAR

    IAEA inspectors in Iran to inspect Qom nuclear facility

    Read more

  • NUCLEAR

    Iran says it will respond to IAEA nuclear proposal next week

    Read more

COMMENT(S)