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Erdogan in Tehran to discuss N-deal

17 May 2010 4:14

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has arrived in Tehran to attend the G15 summit and discuss a previously-proposed nuclear fuel swap deal.

Erdogan initially canceled his plans to visit Iran, but in a sudden turn of events, he decided to participate in the 14th Summit of the Group of 15 developing countries hosted by Tehran on Monday.

He arrived in the Iranian capital late on Sunday for a one-day visit.

During his stay, Erdogan will join his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to work out the details of a nuclear swap deal with Iranian officials on the sidelines of the G15 meeting.

Under the proposed deal, Iran is to ship most of its low-enriched uranium abroad for conversion into fuel rods for its Tehran medical research reactor.

Brazil and Turkey, both non-permanent members of the UN Security Council, have been leading efforts to end the standoff over the UN-backed deal — which was dismissed by Iran due to its failure to provide enough guarantees.

This comes as the United States is pushing for a fourth round of sanctions against Iran over its uranium enrichment, which is regarded by Washington officials as a front for nuclear weapons development.

Iran has rejected such notion, insisting that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) since 1968, the country reserves the right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes such as electricity production and medical research.

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