IAEA Proposal Reviewed by Iran

A00150995.jpgTEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iran said it needs time to review a plan proposed by the head of the UN nuclear watchdog agency that calls for holding off on imposing UN Security Council sanctions.

The International Atomic Energy Agency chief, Mohamed ElBaradei, proposed the simultaneous time-out plan during the World Economic Forum in Switzerland in an effort to end the standoff between the West and Iran over the Islamic republic’s nuclear program.

“Time should be allocated to see if the plan has the capacity to solve the (nuclear) case,” Ali Larijani, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, told reporters during a joint news conference with Russia’s national security adviser, Igor Ivanov. He did not elaborate.

Ivanov expressed optimism the dispute can be resolved if both sides agree to ElBaradei’s proposal.

“The situation of Iran’s nuclear case is critical. Reducing its intensity is our aim,” Ivanov said. “We are currently discussing to remove obstacles from the way of negotiations. All sides should show flexibility and avoid statements that worsen the situation.”

Ivanov also pledged to complete Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power station on schedule this year. Russia last year agreed to ship fuel to Bushehr by this March and start up the facility in September, with electricity generation to start by November.

As a UN Security Council permanent member, Russia last month forced the body to water down proposed punitive measures that would have imposed curbs on the Bushehr project.

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