• Tehran wants to hand over uranium only in batches
• Move represents blow to US policy of engagement
Julian Borger, diplomatic editor
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 29 October 2009
"Hopes of a diplomatic breakthrough over Iran's nuclear programme were dwindling tonight after Tehran demanded changes to a uranium exchange deal that European diplomats described as "unacceptable".........
Iran's response, delivered after a week's delay to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), was not made public, but according to diplomats familiar with the details, Tehran demanded two big changes. They would only ship their uranium out in batches, and only hand it over at the same time the French-made fuel rods were delivered. That would remove the element of the deal that made it attractive to the west: the temporary removal of most of Iran's enriched uranium, which is currently enough to make a nuclear weapon. Iran says its nuclear programme is peaceful.
"This is completely unacceptable," said a European diplomat, who said discussions were under way in Brussels tonight to formulate a common response. "They want to keep all the gains, and give nothing away themselves," another diplomat said....."