Iran has offered to place limits on its uranium enrichment programme, diplomatic sources said, as nuclear negotiations entered their second day in Geneva on Wednesday.
The new roadmap that Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif presented on Tuesday to the five permanent UN Security Council countries and Germany includes a plan to put a ceiling on the number of centrifuges that are enriching uranium, according to the sources.
This so-called P5+1 group fears that Iran may use its enriched uranium and turn it into nuclear weapons. Tehran’s leaders say they need the material only for fuelling civilian reactors.
In addition, Mr. Zarif’s deputy Abbas Araghchi said on Tuesday that Iran was willing to stop enriching uranium above a level of 5 per cent.
The P5+1 -- Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany -- are especially concerned that Iran is enriching uranium to 20 per cent, because this material could theoretically be turned into bomb material very quickly.
Mr. Araghchi also said Iran was ready to allow more intrusive inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency, but only if the six powers first acknowledge his country’s right to enrich uranium under the terms of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.
So far, the P5+1 have refused to grant such a recognition and have demanded Iran to prove first that its nuclear programme really has no military component.
A new round of nuclear talks would take place in Geneva in November, Mr. Araghchi was quoted as saying by Iranian media on Wednesday.