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Iran urges Russia to defend fuel swap

23 May 2010 17:19

The Iranian president has called on Russia to defend Tehran’s declaration on a nuclear fuel swap, saying Moscow should be “more careful” in the stances it adopts.

“If I were in the Russian officials’ shoes, I would be more careful in making remarks about this great neighbor of theirs [Iran],” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told reporters on Sunday.

Russia initially welcomed a joint declaration by Iran, Brazil and Turkey based on which Tehran agreed to send about half of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey in return for nuclear fuel for the Tehran research reactor.

However, Moscow later said it had reached an agreement with other permanent members of the UN Security Council on a US-proposed resolution for tougher sanctions against Iran.

The resolution came only a day after Iran’s nuclear declaration, which had accepted the US and its Western allies’ main demand regarding the nuclear fuel swap — the shipping of Iran’s low-enriched uranium to a foreign country.

Ahmadinejad said the Tehran declaration had left no place for “excuses,” and added, “We expect our friends and neighbors to firmly defend this declaration and not let a constructive interaction be hindered.”

The President said the declaration was a sign of Iran’s commitment to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the country’s full cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

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