UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia says talks on Iran productive; urges measures

RIA Novosti

05:4818/05/2010 WASHINGTON, May 18 (RIA Novosti) - Russia says the talks on the controversial Iranian nuclear program proceed in the right direction, but the UN Security Council must make the decision as soon as possible, the Russian deputy prime minister said.

The Iranian, Brazilian, and Turkish foreign ministers signed an agreement on Monday on the exchange of low-enriched uranium to fuel Tehran's scientific research reactor.

"We believe that Iran must be absolutely transparent and allow IAEA experts to [inspect] its nuclear facilities. Moreover, we still have questions regarding Iran. The answers must be clear..., and confirmed by the IAEA, if speak about the peaceful nuclear program," Sergei Ivanov said.

Iran, which has recently been under international pressure to halt uranium enrichment, agreed to swap in Turkey most of its 3.5%-enriched uranium for 20%-enriched fuel for use in its Tehran scientific research reactor.

The Iran Six (France, Britain, Germany, the United States, Russia and China) began on April 19 discussing the text of a draft resolution to impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

The German government said on Monday the deal between Iran and the UN's nuclear watchdog, the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), on the nuclear program "cannot be replaced by an accord with other countries."

A spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told AFP that the nuclear fuel swap deal "does not answer all of the concerns" raised by Tehran's nuclear program, although it is a "move in the right direction."

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list