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  • 5/9/2010

Lula, Erdogan to discuss nuclear fuel swap proposal in Iran


Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan are scheduled to visit Tehran next week to discuss ways to facilitate negotiations on a nuclear fuel swap deal.

According to diplomatic sources, Brazil and Turkey have drawn up a joint proposal for a nuclear fuel swap and this proposal will be the cornerstone of talks between Da Silva, Erdogan, and Iranian officials, the Mehr News Agency reported.

Other diplomatic sources have said that based on the proposal, the Iran-Turkey border will be the location for the nuclear fuel exchange, which will be conducted under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Brazil-Turkey fuel swap proposal is feasible: Iran

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said the joint Brazil-Turkey nuclear fuel swap proposal is feasible, but the swap should be carried out on Iranian territory.

“Some countries, like Brazil and Turkey, have made proposals for a nuclear fuel swap which are practicable, and this shows that we can reach an agreement,” Mehmanparast told the Mehr News Agency on Saturday.

However, the Foreign Ministry spokesman did not provide any details about the Brazil-Turkey joint proposal.

He explained that the time and location for the fuel swap and the amount of fuel are yet to be determined, adding that the three countries’ viewpoints about the time and the amount of nuclear fuel are close.

On the location for conducting the fuel swap, he said it should be done on Iranian territory.

Mehmanparast also stated, “We have decided to have meetings with the parties to discuss the technical details of the fuel swap, and if confidence is built, the swap will be conducted.”

“We are optimistic that we can reach an agreement,” he added.

Iran has repeatedly said it is ready to swap its low-enriched uranium for high-grade uranium on its territory to supply the Tehran research reactor, which produces radioisotopes for cancer patients.

Iran, 5+1 will likely meet in Turkey for nuclear talks

Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Iran has embraced a Turkish proposal for resuming nuclear talks with the West, which would be hosted by Turkey.

“This idea has been accepted by Iran. If we agree on a date, this meeting may be held in a short time,” Mottaki said during a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu in Istanbul on Friday evening.

“The location of the meeting will probably be Turkey. This proposal is a good proposal for us,” Mottaki stated.

Davutoglu said that during his visit to Tehran last month, he proposed that a meeting between Iran and the 5+1 group (five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) be held in Turkey.

A proposal has been made for a meeting between Iran and the 5+1 group in Turkey, and Iran has a positive view of this proposal, Mottaki said, adding that Tehran is awaiting a reply from European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

“The resumption of talks between the 5+1 group and Iran is a must. The path for diplomacy should be opened,” Mottaki said.

The Turkish foreign minister suggested that talks be held between Saeed Jalili, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, and Ashton, as the representative of the 5+1 group.

Turkey and Brazil, which are opposed to new sanctions against Iran, have recently stepped up efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program.

The major powers and Iran have been at loggerheads for months over a proposed deal to supply nuclear fuel for the Tehran research reactor in exchange for low-enriched uranium from Iran.

The deal stalled after the major powers rejected Iran’s condition that the exchange be conducted on Iranian territory.

Source: tehrantimes.com

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