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Iran to IAEA: Swap deal can build trust

26 April 2010 1:23

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki says Iran is still interested in a nuclear fuel swap deal amid US-led efforts to slap sanctions against Tehran.

“The nuclear fuel swap proposal is still on the table. Iran’s acceptance of the deal will prove the country’s goodwill and political will,” said Mottaki after a meeting with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief, Yukiya Amano, in Vienna on Sunday.

Stressing that the proposal can build mutual confidence, he said the IAEA and other sides are responsible for supplying fuel for the Tehran research reactor.

According to the nuclear fuel swap proposal, Iran had to send most of its low-enriched uranium abroad for further processing and conversion into fuel rods for the research reactor, which produces medical isotopes.

Iran agreed to the proposal but asked for tangible guarantees that the other sides — Russia and France — would deliver the fuel in a timely manner. The demand has been ignored by the West.

On Iran’s cooperation with the IAEA, Mottaki said the country will continue to demonstrate “transparency” in its nuclear work, which it says is aimed at the civilian applications of the technology.

“Iran has always been committed to its undertakings in line with regulations in a transparent, serious and friendly atmosphere but certain Western sides have failed to fulfill their commitments by resorting to double standards,” Mottaki said.

“The IAEA can play an important and sensitive role to implement regulations of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty,” he added.

On his part, Amano assessed as “constructive” his negotiations with the Iranian foreign minister and called for the continuation of cooperation between Iran and the agency.

The meeting came as the US continues to press for new, tougher sanctions against Iran over its enrichment program.

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