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Iran optimistic about uranium swap

05-08-2010 07:58 BJT

ISTANBUL, May 7 (Xinhua) -- Iran's top diplomat said here on Friday that Iran is looking positively on a proposed plan to swap enriched uranium as an "opportunity and good fortune."

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki made the statement at a press conference shortly after his meeting with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu on his way back to Tehran from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in New York.

"Turkey and Brazil have worked very hard on the nuclear swap issue," said Mottaki who explained Iran has been enthusiastic since the plan was first proposed but that it "now had to come to the execution stage."

The nuclear swap plan calls for Iran to hand over its 3.5 percent enriched uranium to the West in exchange for 20 percent uranium needed for a medical research reactor.

The plan fell through earlier in the year when Iran called for the fuel to be exchanged in Iran out of mistrust for the West.

The plan recently gained a second wind two weeks ago with a Brazilian offer to mediate in such an exchange.

Mottaki added: "The political will is more important than the details for this plan to take place."

He said that a meeting regarding the plan between Iran and group 5+1 - the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany - would take place soon.

He said that since the beginning of this process there have been two options, cooperation or resistance, adding that the road of cooperation would be beneficial but no one stands to gain from standing against each other.

"The best solution may just be a dialogue on justice and rights, " he added.

Asked about the outcome of the 5-day NPT conference in New York, Mottaki said it had been fruitful and he had met with many countries and been able to "enlighten them" on the matter of the swap and of NPT reform.

"Iran has shown that it is ready for different formulas, for a permanent solution, paving the way for diplomacy," said Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu.

He added that he will meet EU Foreign Affairs High Representative Catherine Ashton in Brussels next week, providing opportunities for diplomatic talks.

Davutoglu reiterated Turkey's stance against nuclear weapons, but said that every country has a right to peaceful use of nuclear energy, and that the impasse with Iran could only be solved diplomatically.


Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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