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China welcomes Iran nuclear declaration

China welcomes a nuclear fuel declaration Iran released in talks with Brazil and Turkey, signaling that it may oppose a US-led drive to impose sanctions on Tehran.

The presidents of Iran and Brazil and the Turkish prime minister issued a landmark nuclear declaration in the Iranian capital Tehran on Monday.

Based on the declaration, Iran will ship around 12 hundred kilograms of its low-grade fuel to Turkey, giving Iran enough objective guarantees to exchange it with higher enriched uranium based on a proposal discussed with the West in 2009.

Reacting to the declaration, Beijing said it hoped the deal would lead to a peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear dispute.

“We attach importance to and support this agreement,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said on Tuesday.

“We hope this will help promote the peaceful settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiations,” he added.

The US and its European allies have been trying to impose another round of sanctions against Iran at the UN Security Council. They have been seeking Beijing and Moscow’s support to push through the embargoes.

However, the new declaration released by Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Barzil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan seems to have turned the tables as Russia has also welcomed the declaration.

Western powers came close to ending their nuclear dispute with Tehran in October 2009, when representatives from the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran, Russia, the United States and France gathered in Vienna to discuss a nuclear swap deal.

The US-proposed UN-backed proposal required Iran to send most of its Low-Enriched Uranium (LEU) abroad for further processing and conversion into fuel rods.

Iran agreed to the IAEA-backed proposal but said it needed guarantees that the other side would deliver the fuel.

The new nuclear declaration released with Turkey and Brazil gives Iran the assurance that Ankara is to hold Iran’s LEU and return it if Tehran does not receive the higher enriched uranium from either France or Russia in a specific time period.

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