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Sarkozy hails Iran nuclear declaration

18 May 2010 14:04

The French president has welcomed a nuclear fuel swap agreement between Iran and Turkey, saying Paris is ready to discuss it with other members of the P5+1.

Iran on Monday agreed to send some 1,200 kg of its 3.5 percent enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for a total of 120 kg of 20 percent uranium.

“The president of the republic believes that the transfer of 1,200 kilograms of low enriched uranium from Iran is a positive step,” a Tuesday statement from Nicolas Sarkozy’s office said, according to AFP.

The statement, however, added that the agreement “must be accompanied by a halt” in Iran’s uranium enrichment activities.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it has received the text of the joint declaration by Iran, Brazil and Turkey but was now expecting Tehran to notify it directly of what commitments it had undertaken.

Iran has stressed that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), it has the right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes.

Tehran needs the 20-percent enriched uranium for a research reactor that produces radioisotopes for medical purposes.

The statement by Sarkozy’s office also said, “France will examine this with the Group of Six (international powers) and is ready to discuss without preconceptions all its implications for the whole of the Iran dossier.”

The P5+1 comprises of the five veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council — Britain, China, France, Russia and the US — plus Germany.

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