World

Iran nuclear enrichment deal in works: Russia

Russia's foreign minister said Monday a deal to help enrich uranium for Iran is in the works but yet to be finalized, a development that could help resolve the latest talks over Iran's nuclear program.

Russia's foreign minister said Monday a deal to help enrich uranium for Iran is in the works but has yet to be finalized, a development that could help resolve the latest concerns over Iran's nuclear program.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said experts would have to work out the deal involving the United States, France, Russia and the International Atomic Energy Agency to have Russia help enrich the uranium for the Islamic republic.

Iran affirms that its nuclear program is peaceful and that it needs the fuel to power a research reactor in Tehran, but the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany have expressed concern about Iran's potential to develop nuclear weapons.

Under the proposed deal, Iran would send low-enriched — but not weapons-grade — uranium for further processing and have it returned in a form that could be used for medical research.

"A meeting of experts will be held in the near future in order to implement that plan," Lavrov said.

IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei said nuclear experts will meet in Vienna on Oct. 19 to discuss the deal with Russia.

The uranium-enrichment arrangement was first discussed in last Thursday's meeting near Geneva between representatives from Iran and the six world powers.

Tehran also agreed during those talks to allow UN inspectors into its recently revealed second enrichment plant.

ElBaradei said Sunday that the first inspection of the new plant would happen on Oct. 25.

With files from The Associated Press

now