Iran agreement on nuclear swap could be positive: UN chief

Iran`s agreement to swap low enriched uranium for nuclear fuel in Turkey could be positive if it is followed by broader engagement with the international community, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday.

Updated: May 19, 2010, 10:02 AM IST

United Nations: Iran`s agreement to swap
low enriched uranium for nuclear fuel in Turkey could be
positive if it is followed by broader engagement with the
international community, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said
Wednesday.

Ban called on Tehran, which signed a nuclear swap
agreement yesterday with Brazil and Turkey, to comply with UN
Security Council resolutions and cooperate "to the fullest
extent" with the International Atomic Energy Agency, his
spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

"The agreement could be a positive step, the secretary
general says, in building confidence about Iran`s nuclear
programs if it is followed by a broader engagement with the
International Atomic Energy Agency and the international
community," Nesirky said.

Ban`s reaction came as US Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton said China and Russia had agreed to what she described
as a "strong" new UN Security Council draft resolution
imposing sanctions on Iran.

The move on sanctions, which diplomats said would be
taken up by the UN Security Council later in the day, came
just a day after Iran signed an agreement with Turkey and
Brazil to swap most of its low enriched uranium in Turkey for
nuclear reactor fuel.

Ban expressed appreciation for Brazil and Turkey`s
diplomatic efforts, adding that "transparency and openness is
the key to resolve the outstanding concerns on Iran`s nuclear
programs," Nesirky said.

He said the IAEA had received a text of the joint
declaration by Iran, Turkey and Brazil, and was awaiting a
written notification from Iran that it agrees with the
relevant provisions it contains.

PTI