MUNICH, Germany, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Friday that Tehran hoped to reach a uranium transfer deal with world powers in the near future.
Tehran "is serious about" reaching an agreement with the international community over Iran's access to enriched uranium, Mottaki told a discussion panel at the annual Munich security conference.
He said he expected that a deal could be reached in the "not too distant future."
"The most important point is the political will. Personally I feel this will is there," added Mottaki, who is scheduled to meet Yukiya Amano, the new chief of the UN nuclear watchdog IAEA, on Saturday during the Munich conference.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday signaled willingness to swap his country's low-grade uranium for higher grade uranium that can be used in nuclear reactors.
It was the first time Iran showed strong willingness to accept the draft uranium exchange deal brokered by the IAEA.
Under the deal, most of Iran's existing low-grade 3.5 percent enriched uranium will be shipped to Russia and France, where it will be processed into fuel rods with a purity of 20 percent. The higher-level enriched uranium will then be transported back to Iran.
The proposal meant the world powers recognized "the right of Iran to enjoy a peaceful nuclear program," Mottaki said, adding that at this moment, timing, place and quantity were three "components" for the uranium exchange deal.
While not mentioning the place for exchanging the fuel, Mottaki said that "the quantity should be announced by the party who is going to use this enriched uranium, and the quantity will be announced based on our need."
"There must be a guarantee for both sides that this 3.5 percent will be given for sure and 20 percent will be given back for sure," Mottaki added.
Before Iran changed its stance this week, Western countries had been pushing for a fourth round of UN sanctions against the Islamic republic over its disputed nuclear program.