Iran has formally submitted details of its nuclear fuel swap agreement, reached in negotiation with Turkey and Brazil, to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Under the terms of the declaration signed in Tehran on 17 May, Iran would deposit 1200 kg of its own low-enriched uranium in Turkey for safekeeping in return for the supply of 120 kg of the fuel it needs for the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR), which is used to produce medical isotopes. However, Iranian politicians have already hinted that the country would pull out of the deal if another round of sanctions are imposed against Iran by the United Nations Security Council.
The letter was submitted by Iran's mission to the IAEA in the presence of Brazilian and Turkish representatives, and a transcript was published by Iranian state news agency IRNA. In it, Iran describes the fuel exchange as a "starting point to begin cooperation" which should lead to "positive interaction and cooperation in the field of peaceful nuclear activities replacing and avoiding all kinds of confrontation."
The IAEA is now tasked by Iran with notifying the Vienna Group, comprising the USA, Russia, France and the IAEA itself, of the content of the agreement and taking its response back to Iran.
However, the tripartite fuel swap agreement does not address Iran's ongoing uranium enrichment efforts, prompting the circulation among UN Security Council members of a draft resolution, drawn up by the USA, proposing actions against Iran. According to various media reports, influential Iranian politicians have already openly stated that the country could pull out of the fuel swap agreement if further sanctions are imposed against it. Only the day before the agreement was submitted to the IAEA, Speaker Ali Larijani told the Iranian parliament that the country would abandon the deal and rethink its cooperation with the IAEA if further sanctions were imposed, The New York Times reported.
US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley confirmed to journalists on 21 May that work on sanctions against Iran was ongoing. Regarding the Iranian letter to the IAEA, he said, "we will watch to see ... what it says."
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News