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Turkey said on Sunday Iran had agreed on a nuclear fuel swap deal which could help end Tehran's stand-off with the West over its atomic programme
Full details of the agreement were not immediately released by Turkish and Brazilian officials mediating in Iran's dispute with leading world powers, who suspect Tehran of covertly developing a nuclear bomb.
Turkey's foreign ministry said a formal announcement might be made on Monday after any final revisions by the Brazilian and Iranian presidents and the Turkish prime minister.
"Yes, it has been reached after almost 18 hours of negotia
Deal drafted between three countries stipulating that Iran will transfer 1,200 kg of uranium to Turkey for enrichment is not received enthusiastically in Europe, Israel. Germany: No deal can replace draft inked last year. Ashton: Deal does not answer all concerns
France will push for more UN sanctions against Iran despite a nuclear fuel swap deal while the EU, Germany and Russia say they want to see details of the agreement. French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said the deal was "necessary" but "would in no way resolve the problem posed by the Iranian nuclear program."
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday he saw no need for United Nations Security Council sanctions after Iran agreed to send some of its uranium abroad. Iran signed an agreement late Sunday with mediators Brazil and Turkey for a nuclear fuel swap designed to allay international concern over the Islamic Republic's atomic ambitions and avert fresh sanctions on Tehran.
Turkey is planning a gesture that will challenge Israel and provide support to Gaza's Hamas leaders next month. A flotilla of ships funded by Turkey will approach Gaza in May, in an attempt to challenge Israeli control at sea - or, as organizers put it, “break Israel's illegal blockade on Gaza.”
Iran will continue its uranium enrichment activities, including production of 20 percent enriched uranium even after signing a nuclear fuel swap deal with Turkey and Brazil on Monday, a senior official said Monday. "There is no relation between the swap deal and our enrichment activities ... We will continue our 20 percent uranium enrichment work," said Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization.
European Union and British officials have said that a nuclear fuel swap deal agreed by Iran, Turkey and Brazil might not be enough to stop the US-led push for tougher sanctions against Tehran. A spokeswoman for Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief, welcomed the deal on Monday, but said that the bloc still had "serious concerns" about Iran's nuclear programme. The agreement, brokered by Brazil and Turkey, calls for Iran to ship 1.2 tonnes of low-enriched uranium to Turkey, in exchange for 120kg of highly-enriched nuclear fuel rods for its power plant, according to official media.
... A few minutes later, Li asked why Israel, a U.S. ally that many suspect would attack Iran before allowing it to have a nuclear weapon, has been allowed to amass a nuclear arsenal. "The whole key here is whether you are an American ally or not. If you are an American ally, everything is solved. If not, then everything is a problem," said Li, his voice rising in irritation. "Don't talk about any treaties, don't talk about any rules, it's, 'If I trust you there's no problem.' "
Read more: www.bnd.com...
The proposal would temporarily remove much of Tehran's low-enriched uranium, but U.S. officials say it doesn't deal with the larger issues surrounding the country's controversial nuclear program.
Obama administration officials reacted coolly Monday to an Iranian offer aimed at ending the standoff over that country's nuclear program, saying they intend to press ahead with a proposal for United Nations Security Council sanctions.
U.S. officials said they intend to study the proposal, brokered by Brazil and Turkey, that would temporarily remove much of Tehran's low-enriched uranium from the country.