An Iranian lawmaker says Iran has stopped enriching uranium up to 20 percent, the level of enrichment that according to experts approaches what is required for nuclear weapons.
The comment was made on Tuesday on the official website of the Iranian parliament by Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, the deputy head of the national security and foreign policy committee in the Parliament, according to a report published in The New York Times.
Hosseini said Iran had enough enriched uranium to produce fuel for a nuclear test reactor in Tehran, which produces medical isotopes, according to the report.
“The issue of suspending or halting enrichment is meaningless because no production is taking place at the moment,” the report quoted Hosseini.
Hosseini added that Iran was not interested in shipping its stockpile of uranium enriched up to 20 percent abroad as part of a nuclear deal, pursuant to some past proposals.
“This would mean we would put it at the disposal of others and have to beg for it later,” he was quoted as saying. Alternatively, Hosseini suggested turning the stockpile of enriched uranium into fuel plates, under monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency, according to the report.
The United States and its European allies suspect Iran is working towards a nuclear weapons capability, and have levied sanctions on Iran's energy, banking and shipping sectors that have battered the Iranian economy and caused a currency crisis.
Earlier this month, Iran’s professed willingness to compromise on its nuclear weapons program was welcomed by the US and the EU as six-party talks in Geneva ended without a diplomatic solution but with an agreement to resume talks there on November 7-8.