Spokesman: Iran to exchange nuclear fuel if trust established:

18:16, December 08, 2009      

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Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Tuesday Iran would accept a nuclear fuel exchange deal if conditions are built to earn Iran's trust in the Western countries.

"If they (the West) can create conditions that can gain our trust, we will be ready to exchange the fuel," Mehmanparast told reporters in his weekly press conference.

"We never said we will not do this (fuel exchange)," he said, adding that the problem was Iran has no trust in the West because their attitude and behavior in the past.

"They have lost trust and have never kept their promises," he added, "we can not listen to them easily."

Mehmanparast also dismissed the West's threat to raise more sanctions against Iran. "Sanctions are nothing new for Iran," he said.

"Every time they took sanctions against us, we were even closer to self-sufficiency and independence. Therefore, if they want to continue this path, it will have no result except that we become more serious about our plans," he added.

UN nuclear watchdog IAEA has presented a draft agreement which calls for shipping most of Iran's existing low-grade enriched uranium to Russia and France by the end of the year, where it would be processed into fuel rods with a purity of 20 percent.

The higher-level enriched uranium would be transported back to Iran to be used in a research reactor in Tehran for the manufacture of medical radioisotopes.

Iran rejected the deal, demanding a simultaneous exchange between low and higher level enriched uranium inside the country.

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