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Waiting For Iran's Answer

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In October, representatives from Iran, Russia, the U.S. and France met to consider a proposal by the International Atomic Energy Agency that would have Iran's low-enriched uranium further enriched in a third country, fabricated into fuel, and returned to Iran for use in the Tehran Research Reactor. The plan would satisfy Iran's need for medical isotopes for cancer research, and it would help allay the international community's fears that Iran might be stockpiling uranium for eventual use in the production of a nuclear weapon.

Iranian representatives agreed to the draft proposal in Vienna in October. But since then, Iran has sent conflicting signals, and has failed to either formally reject or accept the proposal.

In an interview in Berlin, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Iran's leaders to accept the proposal. If they did, it would be "immensely reassuring" to the world, said Secretary Clinton. "It would demonstrate good faith on their part [and] it would open the door to further talks about their nuclear program."

Secretary of State Clinton said the United States wants "a civil diplomatic relationship [with Iran] that could lead to negotiations that would lower the temperature and try to diminish the mistrust" that exists between Iran and the U.S.

The U.S. and the other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany –- the P5+1 -- remain united in encouraging Iran to live up to its international obligations regarding its nuclear program. Secretary of State Clinton said, "The President [Barack Obama] has reached out and has really gone the extra mile to engage with the Iranians. If they cannot overcome their mistrust and their internal political dynamics, then we have to do what we think is in our best interest."