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ElBaradei welcomes Iran’s declaration

19 May 2010 0:54

The former head of the UN nuclear watchdog says Iran’s decision to send its enriched uranium to Turkey could pave the way for broader negotiations.

Iran, Brazil, and Turkey issued a nuclear declaration in Tehran on Monday that names Turkey as the site of a nuclear fuel swap where Tehran would exchange its low-enriched uranium for reactor fuel.

The declaration calls for Iran to exchange 1,200 kilograms (2,640 pounds) of its low-enriched uranium for 120 kilograms of 20 percent enriched nuclear fuel to power the Tehran research reactor, which produces radioisotopes for cancer treatment.

Mohamed ElBaradei, the former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told FRANCE 24 on Tuesday that the declaration “is a precursor to full-scope negotiations with world powers.”

“I believe it’s quite a good agreement […] I’ve always said that the only way to resolve the Iranian issue is by building trust,” ElBaradei added.

“Moving half or more than half of Iran’s nuclear material out of the country is a confidence-building measure that could defuse the crisis, and give the US and the West the space to negotiate,” the former IAEA director stated.

“Iran is prepared to talk, I know Barack Obama is prepared to talk. I base that on my discussions a few months ago with both [Iranian President] Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and [US President] Barack Obama. Of course, nobody wants to give away everything before talks, but I do think both are committed to negotiations. And I think that now, with this agreement, the conditions are absolutely ripe to engage in full-fledged negotiations,” ElBaradei said.

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