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Nikkei business daily reports proposal for Japan to enrich uranium for Tehran was floated in December, with US approval

Japan has offered to enrich uranium for Iran to allow it access to nuclear power while allaying international fears it might be seeking an atomic weapon, the Nikkei business daily reported Wednesday.

Tehran had not yet given a concrete response, but the issue was expected to be discussed Wednesday in Tokyo by Iran's parliament speaker Ali Larijani and Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, the daily said in an online report.

World powers suspect Iran is enriching uranium to make nuclear weapons under cover of its civilian energy program, a charge Tehran denies.

Iran is at loggerheads with world powers for not accepting a deal drafted by the International Atomic Energy Agency that would supply it with nuclear fuel for a research reactor if it transfers the bulk of its low-enriched uranium.

Iran has so far failed to take up the IAEA offer under which Russia would enrich its uranium and France would process it, and Tehran this month said it had itself begun enriching uranium to a higher level.

The Nikkei daily, without citing sources, reported that the proposal for Japan to enrich uranium for Iran was floated in December, with US approval, when Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili visited Tokyo.

Japan, the only country to have been attacked with atomic bombs, has strongly supported efforts for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.

Source: Agence France-Presse