Reports: Draft Deal Reached For Iran To Export Enriched Uranium

A draft agreement has been reached for Iran to export most of its enriched uranium, NPR's Eric Westervelt and the Associated Press are reporting from Vienna, where negotiators have been meeting.

Diplomats from Iran, the U.S., Russia and France have been discussing Iran's nuclear ambitions and the other nations' concern that it wants to develop weapons of mass destruction.

According to the AP:

International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei said Wednesday that Iran and the U.S., Russia and France have signed off on a draft deal that he hoped would be approved by the nations' capitals by Friday.

He gave no details. But a diplomat inside the closed meeting told the Associated Press that the draft foresees the export most of Iran's stockpile of enriched uranium.

Getting Iran to send its enriched uranium elsewhere for processing has been a critical goal of the other nations because that would in theory reduce the chances of the Persian nation obtaining enough of the material to produce a weapon.

Update at 8:30 a.m ET. The AP's latest version of the story adds a bit of uncertainty about Iran's position (we've highlighted key phrases used by AP):

Iranian negotiators on Wednesday agreed to consider a draft deal that — if accepted by the Tehran leadership — would delay its ability to make nuclear weapons by sending most of the material it would need to Russia for processing, diplomats said Wednesday.

International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei confirmed that representatives of Iran and its three interlocutors — the U.S., Russia and France - had accepted the draft, which still has to be finalized by the four nations' capitals. ElBaradei said he hoped that would occur by Friday.

Update at 7:55 a.m. ET. NPR's Westervelt reports that:

Diplomats say if the deal is finalized, most of the enriched uranium would be sent to Russia for conversion into fuel that could be used for medical research and cancer care.



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