(Associated Press) - A top Iranian nuclear official proposed Tuesday that France enrich Iran's uranium on Iranian soil, in a bid to satisfy the international community's demands for outside oversight of Tehran's nuclear program. "To be able to arrive at a solution, we have just had an idea. We propose that France create a consortium for the production in Iran of enriched uranium," Mohammad Saeedi, deputy chief of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, told France-Info radio. "That way France, through the companies Eurodif and Areva, could control in a tangible way our enrichment activities," he added.
A French Foreign Ministry spokesman would not comment on Saeedi's proposal. Speaking on customary condition of anonymity, he said "the important thing" for France is the result of talks between Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana. Larijani was to hold talks Tuesday in Tehran with the head of Russia's Security Council. Georges Le Guelte, a nuclear expert at France's Institute for International and Strategic Research, called Iran's announcement "a diversion tactic." Areva spokesman Charles Hufnagel said the company was not involved in any negotiations about a possible consortium for enriching Iranian uranium, reports Trend.