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VIENNA (Reuters) - The U.N. nuclear watchdog chief said on Wednesday he had given Iran and three world powers a draft text of a deal for approval by Friday to help allay concerns over Tehran's nuclear programme.
International Atomic Energy Agency director Mohamed ElBaradei spoke at the conclusion of two and a half days of difficult, politically charged talks involving Iran, France, Russia and the United States at IAEA headquarters.
Diplomats said ElBaradei's draft contained the powers' call for Iran to send some 75 percent of its enriched uranium reserve abroad before the end of this year for conversion into fuel for a Tehran reactor producing medical isotopes.
This would reduce the high risk cited by the West of Iran, under suspicion over nuclear secrecy and restrictions on IAEA inspections, using a growing low-enriched uranium stockpile to refine to high purity suitable for atom bombs.
Iran's delegation chief did not say whether Tehran would endorse the draft deal.
"I have circulated a draft agreement that in my judgement reflects a balanced approach to how to move forward," ElBaradei told reporters.
He said any accord would be submitted to the IAEA's 35-nation Board of Governors for ratification. The board's next meeting is in late November."
"Everyone in this talks was trying to look to the future, not the past, and heal the wounds existing for many years ... This (deal, if formally approved), should open space for negotiations" on broader steps to resolve the crisis, he said.
(Reporting by Mark Heinrich and Sylvia Westall)