Russia vows support for Iran fuel swap
Russia has pledged to “actively support” the Tehran Nuclear Declaration on condition that the landmark fuel swap proposal is fully implemented.
“If it (Iran) strictly abides by them, Russia will actively support the scheme proposed by Brazil and Turkey,” AFP quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on Thursday
“We welcome this deal. If fully implemented, it will create very important preconditions not just for the solution of the concrete problem… but for improving the atmosphere for the renewal of negotiations,” Lavrov added.
The remarks come one day after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad criticized Russia for conceding to a US campaign for tougher UN sanctions against the country, calling on Moscow to “resolutely” support the May 17 declaration issued by Iran, Turkey and Brazil.
Under last week’s declaration, Tehran agreed to swap its low enriched uranium on Turkish soil with fuel for a medical research reactor.
Despite welcoming the development in the nuclear standoff as a positive step, the US and its European allies have vowed to continue seeking more sanctions and to this end submitted a Washington-drafted sanctions resolution to the UN Security Council shortly after the declaration.
Iran has rejected Western allegations that it is following a military nuclear program, arguing that as a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) it has the right to a civilian nuclear program.