Iran may temporarily suspend some of its uranium enrichment activities in exchange for an easing of some of the Western-imposed sanctions aimed at curbing its nuclear program, diplomatic officials said on Tuesday.
Following the latest round of talks between Iranian and Western nuclear officials, which was held earlier this month in Istanbul, Turkey, Iranian officials said they would consider suspending 20-percent uranium enrichment activities for up to six months and converting existing stores of 20%-enriched nuclear material into oxide for medical use, the al-Monitor website reported on Tuesday.
However, the Iranians were said to be less flexible on other enrichment activities currently going on at the heavily fortified Fordo nuclear plant. Iran also ruled out increased International Atomic Energy Commission inspection of its nuclear facilities, the report said.
An analyst told the website that American officials who participated in the Istanbul talks “had the most substantive conversation they ever had” with the Iranian representatives.
The revised proposals came after an earlier round of talks in Kazakhstan ended without any real progress.
If Iran accedes to the demands of the P5+1 — the six world powers that are attending the talks: the US, China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany — sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical and gold sectors would be eased, while restrictions on banking and petrolium sales would remain in place, the report said.
Diplomats from the P5+1 and Iran were scheduled to reconvene in Kazakhstan on April 5-6 for continued talks, which the United States and its allies hope will bring to an end Iran’s nuclear program. Last week, during his visit to Israel, US President Barack Obama vowed that he would do “whatever is necessary” to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.