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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran expects positive response from Russia on nuclear fuel swap deal

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, May 30 (RIA Novosti) - Tehran hopes that Russia would take a positive stance on the recent trilateral deal to swap Iran's low-enriched uranium in Turkey, the Fars news agency quoted a foreign ministry spokesman as saying.

"We expect more from neighboring countries, especially from Russia... We hope for Russia's constructive and positive response," Ramin Mehmanparast said.

The Iranian, Brazilian, and Turkish foreign ministers agreed on May 17 that Iran will swap in Turkey most of its 3.5%-enriched uranium for 20%-enriched fuel for use in its Tehran scientific research reactor.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said on Monday if the Iranian offer is approved by the IAEA and other involved parties such as Russia, France and the United States, who together proposed the original fuel swap deal six months ago, it could open a possibility for solving the controversial problem.

"The UN secretary general and the Western powers can do nothing but accept [the deal]," the Iranian diplomat said.

The deal, however, did not stop the Iran Six (Russia, the United States, Britain, France, Germany and China) from continuing discussions, begun on April 19, on a draft Security Council resolution to increase sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has criticized Russia and China, which have previously spoken out against sanctions, for supporting the draft.

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