TEHRAN, Iran – The U.S. and its allies hoped to secure Iran’s approval Friday for a proposed deal that would ship most of the country’s uranium abroad for enrichment and ease Western fears about Iran‘s potential to make a nuclear weapon.
Approval of the draft agreement would be a key victory for President Barack Obama, who has stepped up diplomatic engagement with Iran since he took office in January and faulted the Bush administration for refusing to talk to U.S. adversaries.
Russia and France, which are both involved in the deal, backed it Friday. U.S. officials have also expressed support, but Iran’s endorsement is far from certain.
Iran’s deputy parliament speaker, Mohammad Reza Bahonar, dismissed the plan Thursday, the first public reaction in Tehran to the proposal, which calls for shipping low-enriched uranium to Russia for further enrichment to a level suitable as fuel for a research reactor — but not for nuclear weapons.
Iran’s parliament will not vote on the draft plan, and Bahonar does not speak for the government, which is to decide the matter. But it’s un… >>>