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News number: 8904210985

15:35 | 2010-07-12


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FM: Iran Mulling Response to Vienna Group's Offer of Talks

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki announced that the country is still studying the proposal presented by the Vienna Group (the US, Russia, France and the IAEA) for the resumption of talks on the supply of nuclear fuel for the Tehran research reactor.

"The Vienna Group has asked for talks… and their request for negotiations is under scrutiny," Mottaki told reporters on Sunday.

Noting that Iran is studying possible talks with the Vienna Group within the framework of the agreement earlier signed among Iran, Turkey and Brazil on the swap of nuclear fuel, he reiterated, "It would be proper if countries, like Turkey and Brazil, join the new round (of talks), although this has been agreed by the opposite sides."

Mottaki also repeated Tehran's offer that it is ready to supply the needed fuel for the Tehran reactor through swap or production at home.

Iranian, Brazilian and Turkish officials on May 17 signed an agreement named the 'Tehran Declaration' which presented a solution to a longstanding standoff between Iran and potential suppliers of nuclear fuel. According to the agreement, Iran would send some 1200 kg of its 3.5% enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for a total 120 kg of 20% enriched fuel.

But western countries showed a negative and surprising reaction to the Tehran Declaration and sponsored a sanctions resolution against Iran at the UN Security Council instead of taking the opportunity presented by the agreement.

Russia, France, and the US, in three separate letters, instead of giving a definite response to the Tehran declaration, raised some questions about the deal, and the US took a draft sanctions resolution against Iran to the UN Security Council, which was later approved by the Council.

West's reaction not only surprised, but also angered Turkish and Brazilian officials who had started talks with Tehran at the US request. Ankara and Brasilia expected a positive reaction from the US and its western allies after they struck the nuclear swap deal with Tehran and they were astonished to see Washington's belligerent approach and adoption of fresh sanctions against Iran.

The US-sponsored sanctions resolution was approved at the UN Security Council on June 9 with Brazil and Turkey's opposition and Lebanon's abstention.