Turkey hopes for `positive` response to Iran nuclear deal

Turkey called on world powers on Monday to help see through a nuclear fuel swap deal with Iran that it negotiated with Brazil, after Tehran formally notified the UN nuclear watchdog of its response.

Last Updated: May 25, 2010, 00:08 AM IST

Ankara: Turkey called on world powers on Monday
to help see through a nuclear fuel swap deal with Iran that it
negotiated with Brazil, after Tehran formally notified the UN
nuclear watchdog of its response.

"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.

The UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
announced earlier it had received Iran`s notification of the
nuclear fuel swap deal that it signed on May 17 with Turkey
and Brazil.

The accord calls for Tehran to ship around half its stock
of low-enriched uranium to Turkey and months later receive a
supply of more highly enriched uranium suitable for research
and medical use.

The deal should be seen "as a confidence-building move to
improve the psychological atmosphere required for the success
of the negotiation process between the P5+1 group and Iran in
order to reach a diplomatic solution," the Turkish statement
said.

"Turkey is ready... to continue its contributions for a
peaceful solution to the issue," it said.

The IAEA said it would communicate the contents of the
letter to the United States, France and Russia.

The three are permanent members of the UN Security
Council, where Washington is spearheading an effort to slap a
fourth round of sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme,
which Western powers claim is cover to build an atomic bomb.

The so-called P5+1 group working on the Iran nuclear
standoff consists of the same three countries as well as the
two other permanent members of the council, Britain and China,
plus Germany.

France and Russia had offered to supply Iran higher-
enriched fuel under a previous IAEA proposal that Tehran had
initially accepted, then rejected before reviving it under the
Brazil-Turkey deal.

Turkey and Brazil, both non-permanent members of the
Security Council, are opposed to fresh sanctions.

Also today, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
had a telephone conversation with French President Nicolas
Sarkozy to discuss the latest developments in the standoff,
Anatolia news agency reported.

PTI