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Iran trying to buy time, says US

7 May 2010 2:58

Washington has accused Tehran of attempting to ‘buy time’ by accepting Brazil’s offer to mediate in UN-brokered nuclear fuel swap deal.

US President Barack Obama’s top Latin American adviser, Daniel Restrepo, called Tehran’s bid a stalling tactic to avoid new sanctions, after Iran accepted Brazil’s proposal to act as an intermediary to help resume negotiations on the swap deal.

“Through their engagement with Brazil and others, it appears that the Iranians are attempting to buy themselves time,” Reuters quoted Restrepo as saying on Thursday.

“As the administration has made it quite clear, we think the time to move forward at the UN Security Council is upon us,” he added.

The US envoy’s comments come despite Brazil’s announcement on Wednesday that it has not put forward any such proposal to Iran.

Brazilian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday, “No such plan had been proposed during a visit to Tehran last month by Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim.”

In March, however, Amorim had said that there was a lack of confidence between Iran and some countries engaged in nuclear talks, suggesting that a third “faithful depository” country could solve the problem.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in a Tuesday telephone conversation with Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez, said that Tehran had agreed in principle with Brazil’s offer regarding a swap deal.

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