Iran rejected a U.N. backed plan Saturday in what seems to be a lack of trust among nations. Iran has repeatedly said they want to keep their uranium, but be allowed to buy a more premium level of uranium. They have also repeatedly stated their purposes for their nuclear ambitions, however it is speculated that they want it for the sole purpose to arm and protect their country with nuclear weapons. The trust factor plays a big part in these new deals.
The U.N.-brokered plan requires Iran to send 1.2 tons of low-enriched uranium — around 70 percent of its stockpile — to Russia in one batch by the end of the year, easing concerns the material would be used for a bomb.
After further enrichment in Russia, France would convert the uranium into fuel rods that would be returned to Iran for use in a reactor in Tehran that produces medical isotopes.
Iran has indicated that it may agree to send only “part” of its stockpile in several shipments. Should the talks fail to help Iran obtain the fuel from abroad, Iran has threatened to enrich uranium to the higher level needed to power the research reactor itself domestically.
The Tehran reactor needs uranium enriched to about 20 percent, higher than the 3.5 percent-enriched uranium Iran is producing for a nuclear power plant it plans to build in southwestern Iran. Enriching uranium to even higher levels can produce weapons-grade materials.
“We are totally opposed to the proposal to send 3.5 percent enriched uranium in return for 20 percent enriched fuel,” senior lawmaker Alaeddin Boroujerdi was quoted by the semiofficial ISNA news agency as saying.
Boroujerdi, who heads the parliament’s National Security Committee, said the priority for Iran was to buy nuclear fuel and hold on to its own uranium. He also said there was no guarantee that Russia or France will keep to the deal and supply nuclear fuel to Iran if Tehran ships them its enriched uranium.
“The preferred option is to buy fuel … there is no guarantee that they will give us fuel … in return for enriched uranium. We can’t trust the West,” ISNA quoted Boroujerdi as saying.
Kazem Jalali, another senior lawmaker, said Iran wants nuclear fuel first before agreeing to ship its enriched uranium stocks to Russia and France even if it decides to strike a deal.
“They need to deliver nuclear fuel to Iran first … the West is not trustworthy,” the official IRNA news agency quoted him as saying.