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More moves in Iran nuclear chess game -

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SHANE MCLEOD: It was hailed as a possible breakthrough in the nuclear impasse between Iran and the
West but it may end up being just another round of their diplomatic dance.

Iran's media is reporting the Government has demanded changes to a UN drafted nuclear fuel deal
under which Iran's uranium stockpile would be enriched by another country.

Despite a lack of details some diplomats are already saying the Iranian response may yet scuttle
the basis of the agreement with the United States, France and Russia.

At the same time Iran's President has addressed a rally in Tehran, hailing what he's described as a
change in attitude by the West towards Iran's nuclear program.

Barney Porter reports.

BARNEY PORTER: For the international audience the speech from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was
typically defiant on Iran's right to have nuclear power.

MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD (translated): The world should know and some people inside the country should
also know that as long as this Government is in power with the help of the people, it will not
retreat even one iota from the people's inalienable right.

BARNEY PORTER: And for the Iranians listening their President also sounded triumphant, insisting
the West had softened its hardline position and that conditions were now ripe for nuclear
cooperation with the major powers.

MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD (translated): Once they were saying that you should shut down your nuclear
activities but today they have expressed their readiness to cooperate with us in fuel exchange,
developing nuclear technology, building plants and nuclear reactors. They have moved from
confrontation to interaction.

BARNEY PORTER: Under the proposal offered by the International Atomic Energy Agency last week Iran
would transfer about three-quarters of its low-enriched uranium stockpile in one shipment to Russia
by the end of this year for further enrichment.

The material would then go to France to be converted into fuel plates, then returned to Tehran to
power a reactor which produces radioisotopes for cancer treatment.

But an unsourced report in an Iranian pro-government newspaper states Iran wants the uranium
shipments to take place in stages, not in a single consignment.

The IAEA has confirmed it's received a response from Iran to the plan without giving any details of
its contents.

Iran's ambassador to the IAEA Ali Asghar Soltanieh was also cagey when he spoke to reporters but
significantly he described last week as a first round of negotiations.

ALI ASGHAR SOLTANEIH: The Islamic republic of Iran considers this technical meeting, merely
technical meeting between Iran and IAEA, and we expect that our technical and economic concerns
will be taken into consideration when dealing with the modality of supply of nuclear fuel for
Tehran Bushehr reactor.

STEPHAN FRUHLING: It seems like the Iranians are playing the game that they want to continue in the
negotiations but are stalling on central parts of the Western proposal.

BARNEY PORTER: Dr Stephan Fruhling is a lecturer with the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at
ANU (Australian National University).

STEPHAN FRUHLING: In particular it seems that the Iranians are not willing, as demanded by the
West, to transfer custody of three-quarters of their low-enriched uranium stockpile in one batch
and before the end of the year; which is the central attraction of the whole deal for the West in
that it would remove a significant part of the uranium that the Iranians currently have enriched
from the country.

BARNEY PORTER: At the same time a US Senate committee has approved a sweeping package of economic
sanctions aimed at Iran, one of many efforts by lawmakers to compel Tehran to freeze its suspect
nuclear program.

It's not clear how soon the bill would be brought before the full Senate and even if such a measure
does pass both chambers it's not clear it would be enforced.

Dr Fruhling says the West is likely to have a limited amount of patience.

STEPHAN FRUHLING: I think that if we don't see a deal within the next few weeks sanctions are going
to be on the table.

France, for example, has made it quite clear that they would want the uranium out of Iran by the
end of the year and I think that's a timeline that gives an indication of how much time the West
has given itself.

SHANE MCLEOD: Dr Stephan Fruhling ending that report by Barney Porter.