Ahmadinejad ready for fuel swap talks

Report: US convinces Israel - Iran a year away from nuclear weapon.

August 20, 2010 07:06
1 minute read.
Ahmadinejad peace sign

Ahmadinejad peace sign 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

Iran is prepared to begin talks with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany on a nuclear fuel swap deal immediately, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in an interview published Friday in Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, AFP reported.

"We promise to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent if a fuel supply is ensured," Ahmadinejad said in the interview.

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Iran claims to need the enriched uranium for a research reactor in Teheran.

Ahmadinejad was critical of the United States when asked about Iran's relations with the Americans.

"Iranian people support dialogue. Dialogue should be done with respect and fairness.

"Unfortunately Western countries always hold out threats, trying to keep advantage in negotiations. This is not dialogue. The purpose of dialogue is understanding, not threatening."

The New York Times reported on its website late Thursday that US officials have convinced Israel that Iran needs at least a year to develop a nuclear weapon.

The assessment has dimmed the prospect for a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities by Israel, according to the report.

Israeli officials thought Iran could develop nuclear weapons within months. But American officials say the timeline is longer for Tehran to turn low-enriched uranium into weapons-grade material.

Israeli officials have indicated that if they thought Iran was developing a nuclear weapon, they would probably take military action.

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