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Iran promise to send nuclear fuel abroad: A major concession?

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Thursday's meeting in Geneva on Iran's nuclear program had been framed in such a way that as long as it didn't deteriorate into name-calling and threats it would have been considered a "success." Iran, for its part, had insisted that it wouldn't talk about its own nuclear program ahead of the talks, and hinted instead it was far more interested in regional nuclear disarmament, seeking to put the focus on Israel's possession of nuclear weapons.

But the meeting produced results that far exceeded the low, low expectations that the US and its negotiating partners – Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany – had set for the event: Iran promised to send most of its low-enriched uranium (LEU) abroad.

Iran's current stockpile of LEU is about 3,200 pounds – more than enough, in theory, to be converted into sufficient highly enriched uranium to produce one nuclear bomb. That fact was disclosed earlier this year, creating concerns among the US and other governments that Iran's nuclear program – which Tehran insists is for peaceful purposes only – was moving ever closer to nuclear-weapon production.


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