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Turkey, Brazil laud Iran’s IAEA letter

24 May 2010 19:02

Turkey and Brazil hail Iran’s letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency as a positive step that can help resolve the standoff over Tehran’s nuclear program.

Turkey described the letter as a “significant step” and urged world powers on Monday to help resolve the nuclear standoff through diplomacy and the signing of a nuclear fuel swap deal with Iran.

“Following this significant step by Iran, we have full confidence that the IAEA, the United States, France and Russia, who form the Vienna Group, will also give a positive response and make the best of this opportunity…so that the arrangement is transformed into action,” a foreign ministry statement said.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Monday that Iran’s letter to the UN nuclear watchdog is proof that Tehran is commitment to the nuclear fuel swap declaration.

“Everything that was agreed with us will start to be carried out now. After the letter, there will be talks with the (UN International Atomic Energy) Agency, the uranium will be deposited in Turkey and afterwards, there will be a period after which Iran will receive the enriched uranium,” Lula said in his weekly radio interview.

The remarks came as the IAEA announced it had received Iran’s formal letter on the nuclear fuel swap declaration Tehran issued with Brasilia and Ankara last week.

Under the declaration, Tehran announced readiness to swap its low enriched uranium on Turkish soil in exchange for fuel for its research reactor.

Despite the declaration, the US has convinced all permanent members of the UN Security Council to join a campaign for impose a fourth round of UN sanctions against Iran unless it halts enrichment.

On Saturday, Iran’s Ambassador to the IAEA Ali Asghar Soltanieh said the UNSC demand for the suspension of enrichment has no legal basis.

“Nowhere in the IAEA statute and the inspection systems of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is there a clause for the suspension of nuclear programs. In spite of this, Western countries have used this concept exclusively for Iran,” Soltanieh stressed in an interview with Beirut-based An-Nahar daily.

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