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UN praises Iran for nuclear declaration

18 May 2010 0:47

The UN has welcomed the announcement of a nuclear declaration by Iran while the US says there are still “serious concerns” over Tehran’s nuclear program.

Martin Nesirky, spokesman for UN chief Ban Ki-moon, described as “encouraging” Iran’s announcement of a nuclear declaration but said Tehran must comply with Security Council resolutions.

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 White House said Washington and its allies were “seriously concerned” about the nuclear program although the transfer of low-enriched uranium outside Iranian soil would be a positive step.

“Iran must take the steps necessary to assure the international community that its nuclear program is intended exclusively for peaceful purposes,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement.

He added that an agreement between Iran and Turkey on nuclear fuel swap should be conveyed to the IAEA before it can be considered by the West.

Both Brazil and Turkey have welcomed the declaration as a big step towards ending a standoff between Iran and the West.

However, Gibbs, while praising Brasilia and Ankara’s efforts, said the nuclear declaration was “vague” on Iran’s willingness to meet world powers to discuss its nuclear program.

Washington remains committed to a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue, he said.

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