Iran willing to halt 20% uranium enrichment ‘if given fuel’

Updated 14 October 2012
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Iran willing to halt 20% uranium enrichment ‘if given fuel’

DUBAI: Iran would negotiate on halting higher-grade uranium enrichment if given fuel for a research reactor, senior officials said, reviving a previous offer in a possible attempt to show flexibility in stalled nuclear talks with world powers.
“If a guarantee is provided to supply the 20 percent (enriched) fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor, our officials are ready to enter talks about 20 percent enrichment,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said at a Eurasian media forum in Kazakhstan on Friday, according to Iran’s Press TV.
Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel earlier in the week: “If our right to enrichment is recognized, we are prepared to offer an exchange. We would voluntarily limit the extent of our enrichment program, but in return we would need a guaranteed supply of the relevant fuels from abroad.”
Mehmanparast, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, spoke on the same day the European Union provisionally approved yet wider economic sanctions complementing US plans for further financial penalties.
Mehmanparast said any flexibility shown by Iran should be matched by reciprocal measures from world powers, including full recognition of Iran’s right to enrich uranium, according to Press TV yesterday.
There is no sign Iran’s readiness to discuss its enrichment of uranium to a fissile concentration of 20 percent would go anywhere near enough to satisfy the demands of the West.
World powers want Iran to stop 20 percent enrichment, shut down the Fordow underground centrifuge plant where this work is carried out and ship out its stockpile of this material.
Western officials say such gestures would serve to raise confidence in Iranian intentions but more would be needed to obtain any significant relief from sanctions.
According to the latest International Atomic Energy Agency watchdog report, issued in August, Iran has a stockpile of 20 percent uranium of just over 90 kg.


Egypt’s former anti-graft chief sentenced to 5 years in jail

Updated 23 min 53 sec ago
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Egypt’s former anti-graft chief sentenced to 5 years in jail

CAIRO: A defense lawyer says an Egyptian military court has convicted the country’s former anti-graft chief of insulting the armed forces and sentenced him to five years in prison.
Hesham Genena was arrested in February following incendiary comments he made in a television interview in which he claimed that the former chief-of-staff Sami Annan was in possession of documents incriminating the country’s “leadership.”
Annan was arrested in January shortly after he announced his intention to challenge President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in March presidential election. He was accused of incitement against the military and forgery.
El-Sisi ran virtually unopposed, winning the election with 97 percent of the vote.
Defense lawyer Hossam Lotfy says Tuesday’s verdict against Genena will be appealed. Another defense lawyer, Ali Taha, confirmed the verdict in a Facebook posting.