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Iranian president puts Russian enrichment offer in doubt


TEHRAN, February 2 (RIA Novosti) - Iran's president put a Russian offer to enrich his country's uranium on its territory under a major question mark Thursday, when he questioned the details of the deal.

"We have been made an offer to have uranium enriched outside Iran," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said. "But what will we do if at some point we are not supplied with nuclear fuel?"

The president said the Iranian people would not be deceived.

Russia proposed earlier to enrich uranium on its territory for Iran and the Iranian leadership initially stated that the proposal could bring positive results, setting the date for the next round of talks with Russia on February 16.

IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei praised Thursday the Russian initiative calling it a bridge to a fair resolution of the problem.

He said the situation around the Iranian nuclear problem was critical, but there was still time to resolve it.

"We are reaching a critical phase but it is not a crisis situation," ElBaradei said. "It's about confidence-building and it is not about an imminent threat."

ElBaradei will make a report on the Iranian nuclear problem in the beginning of March. The IAEA Board of Governors will review the report and inform the UN Security Council about its conclusions in mid-March.

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