Iran to ship uranium to Turkey in nuclear deal

Agreement aimed at avoiding more UN sanctions

Iran to ship uranium to Turkey in nuclear deal

The deal is intended to avert yet another round of United Nations’ sanctions on Iran.  
Iran agreed to exchange 1,200 kilogram of its low-enriched uranium for high-enriched nuclear fuel to be used in a medical research reactor in Tehran. It also accepted Ankara’s proposal that the exchange take place in Turkey.

The swap deal was proposed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) seven months ago to create room for diplomatic negotiations with Iran and was endorsed by the US, the UK, France, Russia, Germany and China. But it could not be struck earlier, as Tehran insisted that the swap must take place in Iran.

The breakthrough is an outcome of recent efforts by Brazil and Turkey and intended to avert, at least for now, another round of UN sanctions on Iran, which the United States and other western countries believe is surreptitiously developing nuclear weapons.
The deal came amid intense diplomatic efforts by the US to impose sanctions on Iran.
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki signed the draft proposal for nuclear fuel exchange with his Turkish and Brazilian counterparts Ahmet Davutoglu and Celso Amorim on the sidelines of the G-15 summit here. Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan were present.

The US and Russia had earlier stated that Lula’s efforts to negotiate with Tehran was the last chance to avoid the fourth round of UN sanctions on Iran.

Fresh talks
Ahmadinejad, flanked by Lula and Erdogan, flashed a victory sign after the deal was signed and later called for fresh talks between Iran and US and other western countries.
“I hope the five plus one (UN Security Council permanent members plus Germany) enter talks with us (on nuclear issue) with honesty, respect and fairness,” said Ahmadinejad.
Davutoglu said Iran’s low-enriched uranium would be kept under the supervision of IAEA in Turkey, till nuclear fuel for Tehran’s medical research reactor was not delivered. “Now, sanctions are no longer necessary, and it’s time for talks between Iran and international community,” said Amorim.

Turkey and Brazil, both non-permanent members of the UN Security Council, had offered to mediate to resolve the impasse over nuke programme of Iran — a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
DH News Service

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