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Iran rejects Ban’s claim on swap deal

4 May 2010 7:47

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called on Iran to consider a nuclear fuel swap deal after failure of talks on the issue.

In his address to the 2010 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in New York on Monday, Ban described the deal as “an important confidence-building measure.”

He appealed to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to ensure the necessary cooperation on the deal.

The UN chief repeated claims by certain Western countries by asserting that the ball is currently in Iran’s court and that Tehran should clear up any ambiguities about the transparency of its nuclear program, IRNA reported.

Ban’s remarks, however, prompted President Ahmadinejad to dismiss the suggestion that Iran has rejected the fuel swap deal and that it has not been transparent in its nuclear program.

“The ball is currently in the court of those countries that are supposed to cooperate. The ball is in the court of the West,” IRNA quoted the president as saying.

“Iran had accepted the deal. Now, we announce once again that we agree with it,” he insisted.

President Ahmadinejad emphasized on Monday that Iran is in no way obliged to take confidence-building measures to accommodate the West, noting that Iran abides by international regulations and acts accordingingly.

According to the nuclear fuel swap proposal, Iran had to ship 1,200 kg of its low-enriched uranium to Russia and France for further processing and conversion into fuel rods for the Tehran research reactor, which produces medical isotopes.

Iran’s agreement to the swap deal came with a demand for tangible guarantees that the supplying country would deliver the fuel in a timely manner. The demand, however, has been ignored by the West and turned into a controversy.

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