UN chief says Iran nuclear swap deal could be "positive step"

08:36, May 19, 2010      

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UN Secretary-general Ban Ki- moon said on Tuesday that Iran's nuclear swap deal with Turkey and Brazil could be a "positive step" if followed by concrete measures.

The secretary-general said that "the agreement could be a positive step in building confidence about Iran's nuclear programs if followed by broader engagement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the international community," UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky told reporters.

The IAEA has received the text of the joint declaration signed by Iran, Turkey and Brazil on Monday, which commits Iran to sending low-enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for supplies of higher-grade uranium needed for a medical research reactor.

The agency is now expecting a written notification from Iran that it agrees with relevant provisions included in the declaration.

"The secretary-general is looking forward to an assessment by the IAEA on the substantive elements of the declaration," Nesirky said.

Ban urged once again that Iran "comply fully with relevant Security Council resolutions and provide cooperation to the IAEA to the fully extent to resolve all the outstanding concerns over its nuclear programs," he added.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council is scheduled to meet over Iran on Tuesday afternoon after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that a draft sanctions resolution has been reached with Russia and China.



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