Iran Hints It Could Stop Enrichment at 20%

Iran may agree to negotiate its ongoing enrichment of uranium if West recognizes its "right" to do so.

Gil Ronen ,

Iranian President Ahmadinejad
Iranian President Ahmadinejad
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Iran may agree to negotiate its ongoing enrichment of uranium to higher levels if the West recognizes it has the "right" to do so for peaceful purposes, its foreign ministry spokesman said on Sunday, according to a report by Iranian news agency IRNA. However, another news agency quotes the spokesman differently.

"If Western countries (accept) that our 20 percent enrichment program is peaceful and then ask us not to do it, the Islamic Republic of Iran will think about their demand," Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted by IRNA as saying.

Iran previously rejected the demand to stop higher level enrichment and give up its uranium stockpile in exchange for some inducements, put forward by the so-called P5+1 group of six world powers – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany.

Mehmanparast's comments were quoted differently by the Mehr news agency, according to which he said: "Providing that our right to enrich uranium to 20 percent is recognized (by the West), then we will discuss" how to acquire the fuel for the reactor.

Iran's nuclear chief, Fereydoon Abbasi Davani, was quoted on Sunday by media as insisting Tehran had "no reason" to suspend its purification of uranium to 20 percent.