Turkey views uranium swap as turn of international attitude towards Iran

21:15, May 18, 2010      

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The uranium swap agreement inked between Iran, Brazil and Turkey represented a breakthrough in the international community's negative outlook towards Iran, Turkish foreign minister said here Tuesday.

"Looking at the past thirty years, yesterday was the greatest diplomatic opening Iran agreed to," Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters in Istanbul, adding "a psychological barrier has been overcome."

Iran, Turkey and Brazil on Monday signed a joint declaration in Tehran to endorse a fuel swap according to which Iran will ship most of its low enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for the 20 percent uranium fuel needed for its reactor.

The swap, first proposed by the United Nations last October but later rejected by Iran, will take place in Turkey and is proof of Iran's intention to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, he said.

Davutoglu said that the agreement exhibited mutual trust, confidence building and spirit of cooperation, "Iran has shown flexibility and political will with the signing of the agreement."

He said all the three conditions of the international community have been met, "there is no need for speculation" and that the international community must maintain a positive approach.

Dismissing the West's doubts over the Iranian intention and their talk of further sanctions, he added "discussion of sanctions will only spoil the atmosphere."

By next week Iran will submit the agreement to the IAEA and afterwards the uranium will be kept in Turkey for no longer than 11 months, added the foreign minister.

The Turkish foreign minister said that in the recent term, Turkey has gone through a very active foreign policy calendar, among which the most important step taken recently is the agreement on the nuclear swap in Tehran, which is an important step for both regional and global peace.

In the past few years, there were tensions between the international community, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), G5+1 countries (the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain, plus Germany) and Iran, he said, adding "with Monday's agreement, we have overcome the lack of confidence."

"By overcoming this psychological threshold, we hope to contribute to regional and global peace," Davutoglu said.

Davutoglu said with the agreement the Iranian administration showed its confidence in Turkey, "we will work to preserve this confidence."

He noted that "today is not the day for mutual accusations, and the atmosphere should not be stirred up with negative scenarios."

Davutoglu said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will hold talks with the leaders of the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, adding he talked with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on phone Monday night.

Source: Xinhua


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