Iran, Turkey to discuss fuel swap deal
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki will pay a surprise visit to Istanbul to discuss a proposed nuclear fuel exchange deal with his Turkish counterpart.
Mottaki, who was on a five-day trip to New York to attend the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference, will briefly stop in Turkey before returning to Tehran on Friday.
Turkish media sources have confirmed the reports, adding that Mottaki will touch base with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and discuss recent developments in a deal to provide an Iranian research reactor with its required fuel.
A UN-brokered deal proposed that Iran ship a large proportion of its domestic low-enriched uranium (LEU) abroad for conversion into fuel rods for the Tehran medical research reactor.
Iran dismissed the deal, arguing that the West had failed to provide enough guarantees that the fuel would actually be delivered to Tehran, and instead proposed the simultaneous exchange of the shipment on its own soil.
Turkey has emerged as a key advocate of a diplomatic solution to the international deadlock over Iran’s enrichment activities.
In a recent visit to Tehran, Davutoglu had reiterated that “diplomacy is needed to solve the problem [Since] military means, attacks, sanctions or embargoes will not be fruitful.”