Talks on Iranian Reactor Deal Show Divisions on Sanctions

A team of Obama administration officials, joined by officials from France and Russia, will begin negotiating in Vienna on Monday with Iranian diplomats over terms of an unusual deal that could remove a significant amount of Tehran’s low-enriched uranium from the country.

The administration views the deal — which would convert the uranium into fuel for a research reactor used for medical purposes — as a test of Iranian intentions in the international impasse over the nation’s nuclear program. The reactor is running short of fuel, according to Iran, and so the administration proposed that 80 percent of Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile be sent to Russia for conversion into reactor fuel. France would then fashion the material into metal plates, composed of a uranium-aluminum alloy, used by this reactor.

U.S. officials argue that if Iran fails to follow through on a tentative agreement on this deal, then it will help strength the case for sanctions. But the negotiations already have highlighted splits between the United States and two of the key players — Russia and >>>

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