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Iran slams US reaction to fuel swap

24 May 2010 13:33

Iran has denied Western claims that it is buying time with a nuclear declaration based on which Tehran agreed to send its low-enriched uranium to Turkey.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on Monday that Tehran’s nuclear declaration offered “a great opportunity for constructive interaction.”

Iran on Monday officially notified the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of its nuclear fuel swap declaration with Turkey and Brazil, which was signed in Tehran last week.

Based on the declaration, Iran agreed to ship 1,200 kg of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for 120 kg of the 20 percent enriched fuel it requires for the Tehran research reactor to produce radio medicine.

Speaking at a press conference in the Iranian consulate in Istanbul, Mehmanparast said Tehran’s agreement with the nuclear fuel swap was a confidence building measure, not a trick to buy time as claimed by the West.

He said the support of independent states for the declaration showed the declaration “has created a positive atmosphere” for more cooperation.

Mehmanparast further criticized what he called Washington’s “destructive and threatening” reaction to the declaration, saying Iran expects a positive response from those countries which have not accepted the declaration.

One day after the nuclear declaration, the US said it had agreed with other permanent members of the UN Security Council — Britain, China, France and Russia — on a new resolution for tougher sanctions against Iran.

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