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Brazil defends Iran swap declaration

29 May 2010 9:22

As the US forges ahead with its bid for UN sanctions against Iran, Brazil’s foreign minister says efforts for reaching an agreement with Tehran on a nuclear fuel swap declaration was the right thing to do.

Speaking at the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Forum in Rio de Janeiro on Friday, Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim brushed off US criticism of a Tehran fuel swap declaration which was brokered by Brazil and Turkey.

“We are not nervous, because we are sure that we did the right thing,” Amorim said.

According to Amorim, neither Brazil nor Turkey acted irresponsibly by signing the nuclear declaration in Tehran.

The Brazilian minister went further to explain that the terms of the declaration had previously been discussed with several countries, including the United States.

After tripartite talks in Tehran on May 17, Iran went public with a nuclear declaration, according to which the Islamic Republic would send 1,200 kilograms of its 3.5 percent enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for 120 kilograms of 20 percent enriched nuclear fuel.

The declaration is a follow-up to an earlier plan to provide fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor, which produces radioisotopes for cancer treatment.

Iran says as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) it has the right to enrich uranium to produce fuel for peaceful purposes.

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