Russia expects Iran to hand over uranium swap proposals: FM

21:00, May 20, 2010      

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Iran was expected to send uranium fuel exchange proposals to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) soon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday.

"Italy and we want to see Iran clearly honor its commitments and send an official written appeal to the IAEA as soon as possible, so that a fuel exchange procedure may be agreed upon," Lavrov said at a press conference held in Rome.

Lavrov also hoped consensus could be reached on the resolution of the U.N. Security Council imposing sanctions on Iran, the Interfax news agency reported.

"We will treat the positions of other Security Council members most respectfully. Such issues should be resolved through a consensus," he said.

"We have a chance after the president of Brazil and prime minister of Turkey reached an agreement with Iran on how to resolve the problem of supplying fuel for the Tehran nuclear reactor," he said.

Iran, Brazil, and Turkey reached agreement on the exchange of low-enriched uranium to fuel Iran's scientific research reactor on Tuesday.

Russia's top diplomat also said the U.N. Security Council discussions should not hamper talks with Iran on fuel exchange.

The Iran Six (France, Britain, Germany, the United States, Russia and China) began discussing on April 19 the text of a draft resolution to impose sanctions on Iran, which the United States and other Western countries suspect of developing nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear energy program.

On the same day, Sergei Kiriyenko, head of Russian state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom, said the nuclear power plant in the Iranian city of Bushehr would be put into operation by August, regardless of any possible sanctions on Iran.

"A resolution on Iran that is being drawn up will not affect these plans. We expect the nuclear power plant will be launched by August, if everything goes according to plans," Kiriyenko told a Moscow press conference.

Iran handed over the Bushehr project, started by German firm Siemens in the 1970s, to Russia in 1995. The launch of Bushehr has been postponed repeatedly in recent years.

Source: Xinhua


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