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AP Interview: Iran speaker touts surplus uranium

  • Iran's Parliament speaker Ali Larijani listens to a question during a press conference on the sidelines of the 129th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi)

    Iran's Parliament speaker Ali Larijani listens to a question during a press conference on the sidelines of the 129th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi)

  • Iran's Parliament speaker Ali Larijani arrives for a press conference on the sidelines of the 129th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi)

    Iran's Parliament speaker Ali Larijani arrives for a press conference on the sidelines of the 129th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi)

  • Iran's Parliament speaker Ali Larijani answers a question during a press conference on the sidelines of the 129th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi)

    Iran's Parliament speaker Ali Larijani answers a question during a press conference on the sidelines of the 129th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi)

  • Iran's Parliament speaker Ali Larijani answers a question during a press conference on the sidelines of the 129th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi)

    Iran's Parliament speaker Ali Larijani answers a question during a press conference on the sidelines of the 129th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi)

  • Iran's Parliament speaker Ali Larijani listens to a question during a press conference on the sidelines of the 129th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi)
  • Iran's Parliament speaker Ali Larijani arrives for a press conference on the sidelines of the 129th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi)
  • Iran's Parliament speaker Ali Larijani answers a question during a press conference on the sidelines of the 129th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi)
  • Iran's Parliament speaker Ali Larijani answers a question during a press conference on the sidelines of the 129th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi)

Iran has more enriched uranium than it needs for its research and would be willing to discuss the “surplus” with Western powers during nuclear talks next week, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said yesterday.

In an Associated Press interview, Larijani said Iran is open to discussions about what to do with the 20 percent enriched uranium it doesn’t need. Iran has reported to the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency that it has turned half of its enriched uranium into a powder form.

“We have some surplus, you know, the amount that we don’t need. But over that we can have some discussions,” he said in Farsi, through his English translator.

A key concession sought by Western powers in negotiations is for Iran to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent. Larijani said Iran produced the enriched uranium itself because the IAEA would not provide it and insisted it needs the material only for research and isotopes for medical treatments, not for nuclear weapons.

He indicated a willingness to negotiate on that, too.

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