IRAN

US still waiting for 'formal response' from Tehran on nuclear deal

The United States is still awaiting a "formal response" from Iran to a UN-brokered plan on nuclear cooperation with major powers, the State Department said.

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AFP - The United States is still awaiting a "formal response" from Iran to a UN-brokered plan on nuclear cooperation with major powers, the State Department said Thursday.

"We need to hear a formal response from Iran," said spokesman Ian Kelly, hours after the International Atomic Energy Agency said it had received a response from Tehran without giving any details of its contents.

"We'll see what kind of clarifications we get from the Iranians," Kelly said.

Kelly said there was "complete unity among the four parties" -- the IAEA, the United States, Russia and France -- that are negotiating with Iran.

Kelly spoke just hours after the UN atomic watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, 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 group said.

The IAEA chief "is engaged in consultations with the government of Iran as well as all relevant parties, with the hope that agreement on his proposal can be reached soon," the agency said in a statement from its headquarters in Vienna.

Iranian media earlier reported that Tehran's envoy to the IAEA, Ali Ashgar Soltanieh, had "given the response" to the watchdog agency in Vienna.

"It was an oral response," said a senior US official speaking on anonymity.

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