Iran has offered to halt 20 percent enrichment

26 September 2012 | 20:09 Code : 1907298 Latest Headlines

(MNA) – Iran has offered to stop enriching uranium to a purity level of 20 percent if the West lifts sanctions against Tehran, Iran’s ambassador to the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency says.

Iran started producing uranium to 20 percent after it could not obtain fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor from the international market due to the sanctions imposed against the country.

Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh said the offer was made once again in an informal meeting between Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Istanbul on September 18.

Ashton leads the major powers (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) in nuclear negotiations with Iran.

“We are prepared to suspend enrichment to 20 percent, provided we find a reciprocal step compatible with it,” Soltanieh said in an interview with the Inter Press Service News Agency published on Monday.

“We said this in Istanbul,” he added. “If we do that there shouldn’t be sanctions.”