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Amano hopeful about fuel swap talks

Head of the UN nuclear agency Yukiya Amano says positive signals from the Vienna Group have given rise to hopes about nuclear fuel swap talks with Iran.

“I am working on that. I have a positive reaction from member states … and why not,” the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief said when asked if he intended to push for the talks to start in September, Reuters reported.

In October, the Vienna Group — Russia, France, the US and the IAEA — offered to ship most of Iran’s low-enriched uranium out of the country in exchange for reactor fuel from Russia and France.

The Western refusal to offer Tehran objective guarantees led to Iran issuing a nuclear declaration with Turkey and Brazil on May 17 to ease Western concerns.

Under the declaration, Iran agreed to ship most of its low enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for fuel.

The Vienna Group member states raised some questions about the tripartite declaration, to which Iran officially responded on July 29. Tehran has expressed complete readiness to hold talks in September based on the May 17 declaration.

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