Turkish PM urges support for nuclear fuel swap deal with Iran

08:15, May 20, 2010      

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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday urged the international community to support a nuclear fuel swap deal reached by Iran, Turkey and Brazil, Turkish media reported.

In a phone conversation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Erdogan said the deal was "the result of a difficult process carried out with determination" and a significant step in establishing mutual confidence.

"I believe that it is also a step for solution of the issue of Iran's nuclear program. Our region and the international community should benefit from this opportunity," he was quoted by the semi- official Anatolia news agency as saying.

Putin expressed Russia's appreciation for the mediation efforts of Turkey and Brazil, noting that they would take Turkey's initiatives into consideration in ongoing talks on the Iranian nuclear issue at the UN Security Council.

Iran agreed Monday with Turkey and Brazil to ship the bulk of its 3.5 percent low-enriched uranium to Turkey for deposit, in exchange for 120 kg of 20 percent higher-enriched uranium.

A day after the deal, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday the United States, Russia and China have reached agreement on a draft resolution on sanctions on Iran.

The United States and other Western countries have suspected Iran of developing nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear energy program, which was denied by Iran.



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