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IAEA Wants Iran Uranium Deal In Writing

May 18, 2010

The United Nations' nuclear watchdog agency says it wants in writing Iran's agreement to a deal under which Tehran will send some of its low-enriched uranium abroad in return for higher-grade nuclear fuel for a research reactor.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it had received the text of a joint declaration on the exchange from Iran, Turkey, and Brazil, but added that it now wants "written notification" that Tehran will follow through on the deal.

The deal announced on May 17 -- part of an effort to avoid a new round of UN sanctions against Iran over sensitive atomic work -- does not, however, address international demands that Iran halt its own uranium-enrichment activities.

Iranian officials say work to enrich uranium to a 20 percent level will continue inside Iran.

The United States and Britain, which suspect Iran of enriching uranium to eventually make a nuclear weapon, said they still have serious concerns about the Iranian nuclear program and that efforts will continue to agree a new UN resolution to impose more sanctions on Iran.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has cautiously welcomed the announced deal -- but said it remains unclear if the international community will be satisfied.

"The question is whether the level of this swap operation is sufficient," Medvedev said. "Will all members of the international community be satisfied? I don't know. Obviously, there is a need for further consultations, with the participation of all those who know what's going on, who are part of this process."

The deal calls for Iran to ship 1,200 kilograms of low-enriched uranium to Turkey, where it would be stored. In exchange, Iran would receive, within one year, higher-enriched fuel rods to be used in a medical research reactor.

compiled from agency reports

Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/IAEA_Wants_Iran_Uranium_Deal_In_Writing/2045158.html

Copyright (c) 2010. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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