'Iran enrichment deal needs finalizing'

Russian FM Iran enrichm

Qom nuclear facility iran 248 88 ap (photo credit: AP)
Qom nuclear facility iran 248 88 ap
(photo credit: AP)
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday that a plan for his country to help enrich uranium for an Iranian reactor has yet to be finalized, in the highest-level Russian confirmation of a tentative agreement reached between Teheran and six world powers last week. Lavrov said that experts would have to work out specifics of the deal involving the United States, France, Russia and the International Atomic Energy Agency. "A meeting of experts will be held in the near future in order to implement that plan," Lavrov said after a meeting with his Austrian counterpart. IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei has said experts will meet in Vienna on October 19 to discuss the deal for Russia to take some of Iran's processed uranium and enrich it. He said Iran would take part. The uranium-enrichment arrangement discussed at Thursday's talks between Iran and the six powers - the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany - has increased hopes for a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear standoff. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said Moscow could support tougher UN sanctions against Iran if diplomatic efforts to halt its domestic enrichment program fail. Thursday's talks in Geneva included the highest-level bilateral contact between US and Iranian officials, and Teheran also agreed to allow UN inspectors into its covertly built enrichment plant during the talks.