US denies Iran claim on uranium deal

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates speaks at a news conference in Istanbul yesterday. (REUTERS)

US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates said yesterday he doubted a deal

to send some of Iran's uranium abroad for enrichment was close, directly contradicting Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki.

The latest spat comes amid Western powers' growing impatience with Iran over what they say is a failure to respond clearly to the enrichment proposal.

"I don't have the sense we are close to an agreement," Gates told reporters in Ankara, the day after Mottaki said Tehran was "serious" about sending some uranium abroad for enrichment and that a final deal was near.

 

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