Russia's Ivanov denies Iran talks

Security Council Head Igor Ivanov did not hold talks with Iranian officials about a Russian proposal to enrich uranium for the Islamic Republic, a spokesman was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying on Friday."There was no such conversation," he told the agency. The spokesman was not available to confirm the report.

An Iranian diplomat on Thursday said Ivanov and Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani had agreed to hold talks on the proposal in a telephone conversation.The proposal, which is backed by Washington and the European Union, involves the creation of a joint Iranian-Russian company to enrich uranium in Russia.

The plan has been put forward by Moscow in a bid to allay international concerns that Iran could manufacture highly enriched uranium on its own soil to build atomic weapons.

Iran says it only wants to enrich uranium to a low grade, suitable for use in atomic power reactors.Iranian officials had previously said they would reject any plan which denied Iran the right to build its own uranium enrichment facilities.

But, in a sudden change of tone, a senior official said on Wednesday Tehran would "seriously and enthusiastically" study the Russian plan, reports the AP. I.L.

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