In blow to Obama's diplomatic efforts, Iran fails to accept US-backed Iranian deal
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US-backed uranium plan rejected by Iran

President Barack Obama's push to curtail Iran's nuclear program was set back Friday when Iranian leaders failed to accept a proposal to ship most of their uranium abroad for enrichment.

The U.S., along with Russia and France, officially endorsed the plan Friday. But Iranian state television reported that Tehran wants to buy the nuclear fuel it needs for a reactor, rather than comply with the proposal to ship uranium to Russia to be enriched for fuel.

The White House said Obama is waiting to hear from Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of United Nations nuclear watchdog, before responding.

The draft proposal to ship Iran's uranium was put forth earlier in the week after three days of talks between Iran and world powers. The plan was seen as a way to curb Iran's ability to build a nuclear weapon, but there was concern that Iran's leaders would resist the proposal because it would weaken their control over stockpiles of nuclear fuel.

Iranian state TV said that Tehran was waiting for a response to its own proposal to buy nuclear fuel rather than ship low-enriched uranium to Russia for further enrichment. Iran has often used counterproposals as a way to draw out nuclear negotiations with the West.


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  Newser | Oct 23

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