A top Iranian official has proposed that France create a consortium to enrich uranium in Iran as a way to resolve the country's nuclear standoff with the West.
The deputy chief of Iran's Atomic Energy Agency, Mohammad Saeedi, made the suggestion during an interview in Tehran with French radio. The interview was broadcast Tuesday.
Saeedi said French nuclear manufacturers could be possible partners in the consortium, which, he said, could allow France to control uranium enrichment activity in Iran in a tangible way.
Saeedi did not give further details.
Meanwhile, the head of Russia's Security Council, Igor Ivanov, is to hold talks with Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, in Tehran Tuesday.
Monday, President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the Iranian nuclear issue by telephone.
The White House says the two leaders have agreed to keep pressuring Iran to abandon its suspected nuclear weapons program.
Tehran ignored an August 31 United Nations deadline to suspend uranium enrichment, and limited talks since then have made little progress.
Europe's negotiator and EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana says the time for continuing negotiations is limited, but he did not specify a deadline.
Solana said he would resume telephone negotiations with Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani Tuesday.
Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. But it has refused international requests that it stop uranium enrichment activity that also be used for developing nuclear weapons.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.
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